In 1916 A “Rainmaker” Was Hired To End San Diego’s Drought – But The Result Was A Devastating Flood

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Image: Bettmann/Contributor / via Tribune Publishing

It’s December 1915, and San Diego, California, has not seen wet weather for weeks. Desperate and drought-stricken, the authorities turn to an unlikely ally – Charles Hatfield, a man who claims to be able to make it rain. But Hatfield’s tricks seem all too successful, and the city soon finds itself drowning in an epic flood.

Image: via San Diego Magazine

Back in the 16th century, the first Europeans arrived on America’s west coast, naming the area where they landed San Diego Bay. And more than 200 years later, they founded the earliest settlement in the region. And that community would eventually grow into the vast city of San Diego, California.

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Image: via Wikimedia Commons

But although the presence of the San Diego River attracted early explorers, by the 20th century the city was lacking in natural water supplies. Instead, citizens depended heavily on artificial stores such as reservoirs. And when long dry spells came, these resources were known to dry up entirely.

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