SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan begs the question of how prepared the state of California is for a natural disaster.

Researchers have found that a “super-storm” is likely to strike the state every 100 or 200 years, bringing continuous rain for days and the possibility of hurricane-strength wind gusts of up to 125 miles per hour.

Adam Rose, a research professor at the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning and Development, has calculated what a massive rainstorm like this would do to California.

“You would have flooding in the Central Valley 300 miles long and 20 miles wide. You’d have floods and landslides in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Rose.

KCBS’ Larry Chiaroni Reports:

Rose said the damage by such a huge storm would be six times the cost of Katrina or 9/11 in terms of business interruption.

“$627 billion over a five year period and in the first year, the potential to increase unemployment in the state by another six percent,” he said.

But Rose said that history shows that after such disasters, California’s economy tends to bounce back.

“There’s (normally) an incredible amount of resilience among people and our institutions, including the economy,” he said.

A “super-storm” devastated California in 1861-62, lasting 45 days and forming lakes in the Mojave Desert and the Los Angeles Basin. The U.S. Geological Survey found that it left the state bankrupt after wiping out nearly a third of California’s taxable land.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (17)
  1. Bloodhounds says:

    Anybody that is here now will be dead by then! Arnold already destroyed CA financially. Just what the people that live in fear every day of their lifes needs to hear of a possibility of a super storm. Way to go Adam!

  2. Kenneth M. Koehn says:

    I already know that our country, state and individual situations are hopeless. Was this really necessary to print.

  3. david says:

    Is there really anyone that is ready for a super storm. Thanks for printing the obvious, as if Californians needed anything else to worry about. I challenge you to find anyone that is prepared for this super storm that you say is coming whether in California or anywhere else in this country.

    1. Angela says:

      dwight k schrute

  4. bob says:

    California will survive a super storm but will not survive Obama and the Democrats. They are the real threat.

  5. Noah says:

    Have no fear, Noah’s here!

  6. Olivia says:

    at least our drought problem would be taken care of. lawlz.

  7. EViLSTeVe says:

    Hello Super-Storm(TM)! Welcome to California. We’ve provided houses on hillsides, in the valleys and even right in the flood plains just for you, sir!

    Enjoy your stay and we hope to see you back again soon.

  8. mechanic says:

    Don’t these dipsticks have anything better to do than constantly getting everyone worked up about the BIG SNOW, or THE BIG EARTHQUAKE, or THE BIG SWINE FLU EPIDEMIC.??? What a bunch of poo! We are all pretty sick of it. Really!

    1. sr says:

      you just made me smile. that is exactly how i feel. the media is always making a big deal out of nothing and who the hell is going to be prepared for a “super-storm” if it only happens every 100-200 years??

  9. W Walker says:

    Care now to point out the chances of an earthquake with your marvelous skills of deduction and incite. I must state you have an uncanny grasp of the obvious.

    1. sr says:

      do you ever notice that every time they interview experts about when the next earthquake will strike, it’s always “in the next 30 years”? we’ve been hearing that for at least the last 15 years.

  10. Gary Steele says:

    We had that on a slightly smaller scale in the early 80s. We lived. All this doomsaying is tiresome. Looks like “publish or perish” has been taken to a whole new level by the internet. These rubes have been predicting disasters for decades. They’re like psychics or religious cults. Keep predicting something, or give it a wide enough range of occurrence and hey, look, we were right! Yes, there will be a major earthquake in the next 60, 90 or 500 years. Flood too, and now maybe a storm or tsunami or two! Get ready! There is an equal change that it will happen tonight…or in 400 years. So stock up on canned food and bottled water, just in case! An earthquake can happen tomorrow! Or it might not happen until 2094! But by then, an asteroid will have devastated the planet and aliens will have landed and begun colonizing!

  11. Gary Steele says:

    Sorry…equal CHANCE, not change.

  12. blank says:

    The FBI and DEA fabricate evidence, steal from suspects and use murder to close their bad cases.

    The same DoJ employees stealing from suspects, along with several DoJ and CIA employees, where also taking bribes from Al Quida while they staged during the 4 years leading up to 9/11 in return for cover and information.

    It makes sense since greed identifies with these traitors.

  13. McD says:

    I doubt very much I will care by then…………

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