Dysfunction Relationship Essay examples

Submitted By edwardparadela
Words: 1325
Pages: 6

Edward Paradela
Professor Parsons
EGWR 300 (Library Research Paper Final Draft)
1 April 2013
Dysfunctional Relationship [Since Sacramento's inception flooding has been an issue for over a hundred and fifty years (O'neill 71) and throughout this history Sacramento has endured numerous floods, built to provide flood protection, and looked for answers to the cause of flooding.] Sacramento was first built and established as a wharf (ambarcadero) by John Augustus Sutter Sr. (Steverson 51) a Mexican citizen (33) prior 1848 at the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers which is now known as Old Sacramento (51). The meager beginnings of Sacramento City,which was its birth name (66) , was one of an unstable Gold Rush boom-town solely dependent upon its relationship with the river for its continual survival (105) . Though now independent outgrowing its need for river commerce (94) Sacramento still is affected by the nature of its birth place, which has defined it as a river City. Long before Europeans arrived and settled the Sacramento Valley it had been prone to flooding. It was a well known occurrence among the indigenous people, trappers, and traders; however, the Gold Rush settlements that sprang up hastily namely Sacramento City were oblivious to the threat. Consequently, on January of 1850 Sacramento City experienced its first record flood as an official city, which heralded the future of dramatic floods to come (O'neill 71) : It descended with unexpected suddenness. In the evening of January 8 came a violent storm out of the south. The ground, already saturated with runoffs from heavy storms in December and the first week in January, could absorb no more. Both the Sacramento and the American crested, and great walls of water washed onto the floor of the young city-facing, in that moment, its first test with the elements. (Severson 72)
The tumultuous relationship between the rivers and Sacramento was not of note after the floods of 1850, 1852 and, 1853 (Willis 109) but Sacramento soon had first hand knowledge of the rivers destructive nature almost a decade later on March 28, 1861 (110) . On that day the American River quickly crested twenty feet above the lower water mark destroying the wing-dam at Rabel's tannery, also damaging the levee at that point (110) . Bridges along the American river soon became impassable or nonexistent and ferries became then the mode of travel to and from Sacramento and Folsom (110) . Such was the relationship of the cities' rivers and Sacramento was soon visited again by flood waters on December 9 (110) and 23 (112) of 1861 known as The Great Flood of 1861 (Mathews 5), January 9 (Willis 112) and 23, 1862 (115) , February 24, 1878, 1902-1909, 1951, 1956, 1964, 1986, 1997, and 2006 (Sacramento Area Flood History) . Of them all there are five record floods of date that occurred in 1850, 1961, 1964, 1986 and the last record flood of 1997 (Mumm) . Sacramento, throughout its flood history has endured its fair share of destruction, and through it all she has continued to build flood protection improvements. In response to the January floods of 1850 measures were quickly taken to create flood protection; lead by Hardin Bigelow and his hard pressed crew of levee tenders which built levees, dammed up sloughs, and also low ground (Steverson 73) . These measures were implemented in the nick of time, for the city's rivers were inundated only a month later in March by a similar overflow (73) . Had it not been for Hardin Bigelow's efforts and leadership the scene of January would have repeated itself; moreover, “so popular was Bigelow that one month later he was elected mayor – Sacramento's first” (Steverson 73) . Other projects followed throughout the years, prompted by the growing awareness of Sacramento's flood risk. In 1862 begin a 15 year project of the raising of key business portions of the city east of the Sacramento River to about 12th. Street which included