Historical Stories - 1938

OC_Flood_19381936 brought about another change that affected the Catholic communities in the area.  On July 11, 1936, Pope Pius XI created the Archdiocese of Los Angeles with Rev. John J. Cantwell as its first Archbishop.  The San Diego area, up to the Orange County line, was established as a separate diocese.  Archbishop Cantwell served the Diocese until his death on October 30, 1947.

A devastating flood occurred in 1938.  From February 27 to March 3, a series of storms flooded the rivers.  The storms reached a peak around midnight of March 3, when the Santa Ana River breached its banks, taking houses and cars in its wake.  With the majority of Huntington Beach already below sea level, the damage to the community was severe. 

Although there is no mention of this disaster in the Diocesan records at that time, virtually all of the land owned in Huntington Beach by the Diocese was under water, including the land currently occupied by Sts. Simon & Jude Church and School.  As a result of the devastation, the federal government began construction of the Prado Dam, located in Riverside County, to prevent future devastation.

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