Memories of the Flood of 1969

By: Sharon Trowbridge, Thompson, Miller I was in the flood of 1969. I can remember it like it was yesterday - I was ten years old The house we lived in was awesome. it had a built in pool, a screened in porch and sound system intercoms throughout out the house to talk to anyone at the pool. I loved that house. The morning of the flood was like any other morning. It was raining and my mother was mad because the next door neighbor's car was washing water over our lawn so she asked him to move it .. I was looking outside at the time he was moving the car and all of a sudden I saw this strange look come over his face. He started to move real fast and took off. I then saw a wave of water like it was chasing after him. Then there was a knock on the door. It was a fireman that told us we had to take what ever we could from the house and leave now. I saw outside a huge truck with a cab on it and fire trucks. They were evacuating everyone in the neighborhood. My mother grabed some clothing and we couldn't leave the dog or cat so we grabbed them also. We werent allowed to use the fire truck so a neighbor said if you hope on the back with the dog and you two sit up front i will take you to the elevator factory down the road for the evacuation. We left everything else that we owned and stayed at the evacuation center for what seemed like forever. No food, just a bunch of people inside a factory when it was safe they put us in a big semi truck with a long cab with some hay and we all felt like we were cattle going who knows where it was. I remember it was dark and it was scary. They shut us in there and when we were moving i could feel the truck move from side to side like something was pushing us all over the place. People were crying children were crying in the dark no lite you couldn't see two feet in front of yourself. We made it to my school, Central Elementary - the family came and got us some had to stay there in cots all night but we were lucky until my mother went to our house the next day after the flood waters went down. The only way she could get into the house was what used to be a window and the couch was right next to the window. When she stepped in, she sunk into the mud and water was so high she could touch the ceiling. All of our stuff was deep in the mud of what we could find my folks and I lost everything it was not long after Christmas. The pool was full of mud the fence was gone the two cars in the back went through the other part of the house one after the other right to the front yard. Prisoners from Chino State Prison helped dig a lot of people out, but there was really no help for a lot of other people. Those that lost everything were sent to the Red Cross and all or most had to file for bankruptcy because as i remember they said it was and act of god and insurance would not cover the damages. I heard them saying to my parents that we were the natural wash-away but the government never ever bothered to tell anyone that our housing development was the path of the wash-way. The people that lived behind us got hit by those wine barrels that came down from the winery. Those people did get helicoptered out. i remember seeing the copters flying and we all prayed for them we were never the same after that we moved to Elkhart and have been back ever since. There was only one thing that my mother was proud to get back after a few days of digging in the mud. one of my friends said i think i found some pictures of Sharon as a baby. she found a bunch of muddy pictures and cleaned them and they were of me some still to this day smell of mud and i tell you that is one smell you cant get over as a kid. In the wake of Katrina i do know what its like to lose everything, but one thing they had and we did not was help. so many people lost everything in the flood of 1969 and no help. "Oh-well, act of god, sorry go to the Red Cross maybe they will help you"... Well now you know my story .. I loved that house we lived in before the flood. I loved the neighborhood i loved Cucamonga. I was baptized in the Methodist church that is now gone. The Claydoh factory that was across the field from me is gone. gone is the Femirlure neighborhood gone are the memories of a childhood friends that i lost touch with. God love them all. I miss you and i pray that everyone had a good life -Sharon Trowbridge, Thompson, Miller


Will you share, where you lived at the time of the flood; street names of the time or what they would be now? Thanks for sharing your hisotry of the area!

I was living on Lion St. just north of SanBo Rd. I was comming home from work and Foothill Blvd. was closed at Bear Gulch. So I backetracked to I10 and came up Archibald to SanBo Rd. When I got to Hellman the water was three foot deep and rising. I got across and spent the next few days on an island. Many friends lost much so I considered myself lucky.

Roger Cross

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