Looking Back: January 1914 storm wipes out local bridges, creates ‘a sorry wreck’
Greatest Rainfall on Record for One Month, Paso Robles Bridge Destroyed, San Miguel Impassable
Excerpt from the Paso Robles Leader, Wednesday, January 28, 1914
Another soaking of rain has fallen commencing Friday evening and keeping up a steady rainfall until Saturday during which time over an inch of rain fell. It came in such a way that the larger portion went into the ground. These rains are filling the underground reservoirs and there is little doubt but there will be an abundance of water for irrigation.
It has been many a year since there was such a heavy precipitation as we have had here up to this time and probably never. The rains up to January were easy, pleasant rains and while they were not ground soakers they fell in such a way that there was little water lost.
Since January there have been 13:58 inches. The river has been high enough to wash over the top of the abutments.
The approach to the east end of the bridge both here and in San Miguel has been washed away, and some miles of railway track between here and Templeton washed out. The “Lark” the Southern Pacific fast train was stalled at San Miguel and could go neither way.
The damage to the railroad is very great and it will probably be some days before trains can pass from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
Much of the land in this section that has been plowed is badly washed and will need to be re-seeded before a crop can be expected.
The above was put in type Saturday. Since that time about six inches of rain has fallen. The river has risen to a point higher than known for years. Sunday night about 6 p.m. a span of the Paso Robles bridge went out on the middle with a crash and later on the east span and another middle span leaving the west span intact and on solid foundation.
The spans that fell into the water have sunk into the quick sands and out of sight, the east span dropped from the foundation leaving the west end of the span on the foundation.
It is a sorry wreck.
The Templeton bridge is intact and is a great thing for both sides of the river, for without this bridge at this time there would be no connection with the east country.
One span of the San Miguel bridge is also gone.
In numerous places the railroad culverts are washed out, and bridges are gone, so that the postal department has issued an order notifying the public that mails have been indefinitely delayed.
The storm record for January is 13:58, for the season 19;44, and for the late storm 5:90.
The heaviest damage beyond that to bridges and the railroad Company is to the Midland County Public Service Company, but they put on a force of men so as to give Paso Robles water, as that was the greatest source of danger, both as to health, fire and inconvenience from other sources.
Read previous Looking Back articles
- Looking Back to 1955: $110,000 Farmers Alliance project nears completion
- Looking Back to 1946: Santa Claus coming for a visit on Saturday
- Looking back to 1950: $319,000 phone project for Paso as long-distance calls rise
- Looking Back to 1936: Businessmen blame traffic enforcement for loss of tourist trade
- Looking Back to 1956: Adolescent riots feared in Atascadero, veterans honored
Thank you to the sponsors of Looking Back
Paso Robles Pioneer Museum – Come take a real look back into local Paso Robles history. Open Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 2010 Riverside Ave., Paso Robles, CA 93446, www.pasoroblespioneermuseum.org (805) 239-4556.
Estrella Warbird Museum is an aviation museum dedicated to the restoration and preservation of military aircraft, vehicles, and memorabilia. Woodland Auto Display is also open. Hours: Thursday through Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. 4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446, ewarbirds.org, (805) 227-0440.
Creative Concrete & Design delivers the highest level of professional concrete work. Operating in San Luis Obispo County since 2002, Karl Rush brings 35 years of concrete experience to every job and will ensure that you receive the very best quality work. Over the years they have completed a great many works on residential homes. They are very creative and willing to explore options for your next project. Concrete projects have many factors to consider to bring your vision to life. creativeconcreteanddesign.com, (805) 896-1384.
Golden Anchor Financial Services is committed to helping you find the right mortgage product for your needs. They understand that every borrower is different, and offer a variety of products to meet individual requirements. They make the process of securing a mortgage simple and straightforward by offering you the latest in financial tools that enable you to make sound financial choices. Call them at (805) 473-7733 on the Central Coast or (559) 473-7733 in the Central Valley.
1800 El Pomar is the site of a historic Templeton ranch located just three miles east of town. The property features an iconic, aged redwood barn, 3-story tank house, original farmhouse with an outdoor garden, original water tank structures, and many other original ranch buildings. Set on 20+ acres of vineyards, the 360-degree views of rolling oak-studded hills and surrounding vines are a photographer’s dream. A prime ceremony location exists in the vineyards behind the barn between two beautiful oaks. The northwest-facing location creates plenty of shade for your guests in an early to late afternoon setting. A perfect venue with plenty of open space to customize your wedding or event. www.1800elpomar.com.