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Looking Back to December 1955: Heavy rainfall aids ranchers 

Looking Back Paso Robles

This look back at Paso Robles history comes from local newspapers in the Paso Robles Area Historical Society collection. News for this column is selected with the assistance of Research Director Jan Cannon. Newspaper photography by GiGi Green.

Excerpts from the Thursday, December 29, 1955 Paso Robles Journal

Heavy rainfall aids ranchers

– Paso Robles had clear skies Tuesday for the first time in almost a week and a check-up of the heavy rainfall which at one time had water flowing five feet deep in the Salinas River showed unanimous gratification among ranchers throughout northern San Luis Obispo County.

On only one day of the big rains, which started last Wednesday night, there was the threat of floods here. That was Saturday when four families living along North River Road left their homes as a precautionary measure. River water backed up there for a few hours around the homes but did not reach the danger point.

A small truck at the home of Charles Newton was almost inundated, but it was on very low ground.

Paso Robles rainfall history

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Some showers

This morning out on Carrisa Plains, in the Parkfield area, at Antelope Valley and at other points generally eastward, there were still showers, but the skies rapidly were clearing at noon.

The weather report predicted fair and cooler for tonight and Wednesday, with a low of 27.

Precipitation was widely varied through the northern half of the county, as usual. Biggest rains fell in the York Mountain area. At a winery, the gauge reading totaled 15.14 inches since the beginning of the storm and the season total now is 18.41 inches, Bill York reported.

City gets 5.76 inches

In Paso Robles, the storm total at the city waterworks was 5.76 inches, and following are the daily records of readings at 5:30 p.m.

At Paso Robles airport, slightly less rainfall was recorded with a total of 5.36 inches and daily totals as follows:

Thursday .61, Friday 2.05, Saturday 1.68, Sunday .25, Monday .88 and today .02.

How the hills affect rainfall in this region was shown by the readings in the yard of H. Crosby McGeorge, who lives on 12th Street about a half-mile west of the post office. Storm total there was 7.22 inches, he said today.

Season total in the city is now 8.46 inches of rain and at the airport is 7.95 inches.

Less to East

East of the city the rainfall was much less, but still highly satisfactory to the ranchers there, with an average of about three inches in Shandon and Cholame vicinities, and even more farther east and north.

Southeastward, the rains raised the elevation of water in the Salinas dam reservoir from 1283 feet to 1290.84 feet in just one week. Stored water increased by more than 7000 acre-feet. It was reported at the office of Kenneth Beck, county road commissioner. Total a week ago was 14,887 acre-feet and the total today is 18,909.

Rainfall at the reservoir was recorded at 7.51 inches for the storm with a season total of 10.15. At the booster station, storm total of rain was 5.54 inches with a season total of 16.09.


Read previous Looking Back articles


Thank you to the sponsors of Looking Back

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About the author: Reporter Jackie Iddings

Jackie Iddings is a contributing reporter and photographer for the Paso Robles Daily News.