Rain in Van Nuys: November 14, 1952



From the USC Digital Archives come these photographs of flooding in Van Nuys at Tyrone and Sylvan Streets (a block east of the Valley Municipal Building) after heavy rains.

Caption reads: “Mrs. Agnes Snyder removes debris from car on flooded street. Wayne WIlson (bare foot) crosses St. Overall views of flooded Tyrone Ave. — cars submerged. Kids in stalled car.”

There are smiles on the faces of people, a lack of jadedness, that seems characteristic of that era. The hardship is harmless, nobody is getting hurt, the flooding is inconvenient and messy, but they are making the best of it.

Imagine the same situation in today’s Van Nuys.

A herd of fatties stuck inside their SUV, DVD player and boom boxes blaring, everyone on their mobile phones, three enormous women with tattoos, dressed in black leggings, broadcasting their “movie” on their smartphones with scowling and angry faces, never knowing how to live in the moment.

3 thoughts on “Rain in Van Nuys: November 14, 1952

  1. The flood control channel between Sepulveda and Van Nuys Boulevards north of Raymer Street used to empty out there in Van Nuys where the photos were taken. The channel was done in concrete c. 1970 from the east side of Kester at Raymer to Van Nuys Blvd. just north of Valerio, and seems to peter out at Sherman Way east of Van Nuys Blvd. (you see a low spot on the north side). Topo maps from the 1950s (see historicaerials.com) show a creek continuing south of Vanowen between Sylmar and Tyrone, what subsequently became Lennox Ave. I think the water just ran down the street on Tyrone. A little obscure local history for you!

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