Massive runoff on the Kern River triggers record flow, taking out the Kernville bridge 50yrs ago

Perfect storm could trigger another flood for ages
Posted at 6:28 PM, Feb 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-13 21:29:43-05

It's what you might call a perfect storm.

Winter storm is met by a warm atmospheric event, causing runoff in the mountains above the upper and lower portions of the Kern River.

The resulting surge in the flow is one for the history books.

The upper Kern running at 80,029 cubic feet per second at it's peak.

The flow swept up mobile homes to close to the waters edge, along with trees and anything else that wasn't tied down.

The field slammed up against the Kernville bridge, until the pressure tore a hole through the middle of it.

Bakersfield was not spared on this day, even though the Lake Isabella dam was finished 13 years earlier.

The current through the city ramped up to more than 9,200 cubic feet per second, taking out two weirs and causing some flooding across the area.

It's was December 6, 1966, and the elements are moving into place for a potentially similar surge this year.