Swept Away By A Flood, The Remains Of The Douglas Memorial Bridge In Northern California Are Eerily Beautiful
Here in Northern California, we’re well aware of the incredible things that Mother Nature is capable of. Although it can certainly be beautiful, nature can also be brutal. Over 50 years ago, a flood of mammoth proportions wiped out a California town and the stately Douglas Memorial Bridge. What’s left of it can still be seen to this day, and it’s well worth a stop when you find yourself passing through.
Driving along U.S. 101 over the Klamath River, you'll cross a bridge marked by four large California bear statues. Most drivers may not think anything of it, but these bears serve as a reminder of a terrible tragedy.
In fact, the statues are replicas of the ones that graced the
old bridge that used to cross the Klamath River. Known as the Old Douglas Bridge, you can still visit the site where it once proudly stood.
Starting on December 21, 1964, a massive storm berated this region of Northern California and the Redwood Highway. Known as the Great Christmas Flood of 1964, the storm dumped a whopping 2-feet of rain on top of the already accumulated snowpack.
The onslaught of precipitation caused both the Eel and Klamath rivers to rise like never before. The rising waters ultimately destroyed most of the town of Klamath, which at that time was situated right along the riverbank.
The storm also took its toll on the bridge. It eventually collapsed due to the pressure of debris on its supports. Today, only a small section of the original bridge remains, and it's been made into a memorial site for the catastrophic flood.
Although it's certainly seen the effects of time, what's left of the old Douglas Memorial Bridge is downright gorgeous. Originally constructed in 1926, the original bear statues are as majestic as ever!
The town of Klamath was relocated after the Great Christmas Flood, and a new highway was built. However, we'll never forget the old bridge and just how swiftly Mother Nature destroyed it.
Have you been to the Douglas Memorial Bridge near Klamath? Feel free to share your experiences and photos with us in the comments below
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