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1997 Floods, Northern California Information Resources

About This Web Site, Special Note

Why This Web Site?

Being a native Californian who's also lived here all my life, I maintain a lifelong bond with this magnificent state and the tender care of its natural resources, and I feel deeply about all of us who live here.

During the first few days of January, 1997, as I watched the continued rain and flooding and was glued to the news reports, I decided to quickly create a Web site with flood information for victims and their families and friends, and for volunteers and others who wished to contribute goods, time, or money to help the flood victims.

We live on high ground and not even in the 500 year flood plain map. Fortunately, even with flooded streets all around and water flooding my back yard within an inch of coming in my back door, we remained safe and dry (and quite thankful!).

This Web site was one of my efforts to help those who were not as fortunate.

Version 1, January, 1997 Version 2, Fall, 1999 Version 3, December, 2000

Nutshell History

In early 1997 this was the only site available for compiled, annotated flood information resources for the 1997 northern California floods. I originally developed the site and had it online within 12 hours of the initial flooding to help flood victims and volunteers.

The Web site ended up evolving into a helpful resource for historians, educators, students, media, and general interest visitors. Continued regular traffic to this Web site and hundreds of inquiries and letters of thanks from all over the world prompted me to continue to update and expand this Web site to include further resource information that developed.

December, 2000 marked the launching of Version 3.0 of this Web site. The site was redesigned and expanded with many more resources. The new design provided a more professional feel and took advantage of newer browser features for that time.

Summer, 2006 brought the long overdue launching of Version 4.0 of this Web site. The new design takes advantage of the latest browser features and markup behind the scenes.

Although I'm no longer adding any new content, I plan to keep the site online as a historical reference and resource about the 1997 floods here in northern California.

Looking Back

When I first developed this web site, there was hardly any information available at all on the Internet regarding the floods. The Sacramento Bee carried terrific news coverage, which they archived at their Web site (which remains there today), and a few of us individuals with a Web site contacted each other to pool together our information to provide links to each other, especially Donna McMaster in Coloma and the California Mall, headquartered out of the Stockton area.

After at least 6 months to a year or more, slowly information began to pop up elsewhere, and the Internet also began to become an increasingly popular resource. Now there is far more documentation on the Internet than there was at that point, so I have responded by expanding the site with additional sections and new sites, and I will continue to add resources as I find them or that are submitted to me.

Email from All Over the World

Since the Web site's inception January, 1997, I have received hundreds upon hundreds of email from all over the world, from students doing term papers, historians, water resource specialists in Europe and throughout the world, and others just surfing the web. I have been absolutely amazed.

As of June, 2006, over 250,000 visitors have passed through this site and continue to come, so the Web site will remain online as long as there seems to be a need for it.

I extend my warm and grateful thanks to all, and I am happy to provide this helpful service. I continue to welcome suggestions and comments.

Shirley Kaiser
Web Site Owner and Developer

American Red Cross - Help Can't Wait

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