Author: Edward

The First Wet December in More Than 65 Years in San Clemente

The First Wet December in More Than 65 Years in San Clemente

How an ‘ancient landslide’ keeps threatening a railroad, homes in San Clemente, California

The day has come: An unexpected rainstorm has been pouring down on San Clemente, California. It’s not unusual to get a good soaking during December, but this storm is unusual for the unusual reason of being the “first wet December in more than 65 years in San Clemente,” according to the city of San Clemente.

On top of that, the rainfall has turned the city’s roadways into rivers of mud and silt, making driving even worse. The result: mud dams in the streets. And because of that, the rainwater keeps coming. Now, the residents of San Clemente are facing an emergency situation. They need to figure out how to deal with the ongoing flooding and the mud dams in order to keep the city livable. It’s an emergency, not a good time to have a conversation about the potential to build a rail line through the city.

A ‘festival of mud’

San Clemente is a fairly typical American coastal California community, with a beach, a few hundred residents, and a little bit of history. Back in the 1940s when the town was still a rural farming town, an uncharacteristically large sand storm hit the city, sending a huge amount of rocks into the ocean.

“You don’t see this all the time, of course, and we were just in awe, and in awe, and in awe until it was over, in awe that if we were not careful, it would be another ‘Mud Festival.’ It would be ‘The Mud Festival,'” says city historian Ron Schweriner.

It happened the day after Thanksgiving, November 27, 1948, and it was so unusual that it caught everyone by surprise. “Just an enormous rock storm that was like a biblical flood, and it just covered everything,” says Schweriner. That storm created a large new beach in the south beach area. People called the new beach “St. Boniface’s” because it was the very first time that people in the community had the opportunity to see the new beach, and to watch the new waves come in.”

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