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In 1975 the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains above La Crescenta burned off, setting the stage for several mudslides in the years immediately after. In 1978, a massive debris flow came out of Shields Canyon and tore through the new subdivision of Pinecrest, damaging several houses, and nearly killing the Genofile Family. The incident was immortalized in a book by John McPhee called "The Control of Nature", which has cemented awareness of the dangers of mudslides into the psyche of Southern California. Our presenter Michael Fife will tell us the story of this event, its causes and its long term effects. Jackie Genofile, who was at ground zero of the flood, will join him to tell her family's story.
Unfortunately, we face the same scenario today in the wake of the Station Fire. We'll wrap up the program with a presentation from Los Angeles County Public Works, who will answer our questions about what we can do to help prevent "Pinecrest Flood II".
This is the Genofile's house in 1978, nearly covered with debris and wrecked cars.
Michael Fife is a native of CV, and the son of HSCV member Kay Fife. He grew up in Pinecrest, and although he was a child in 1978, he is fascinated with the story. He brings this information to our community as a cautionary tale, and wants residents to be aware of the dangers they face this winter.