How Powerful Land Barons Shaped the Epic Floods in California’s Heartland

As dark clouds massed over Kings County on the chilly morning of March 18, scores of panicked farmers and landowners packed the Board of Supervisors chambers in Hanford for a third day of emergency hearings. They were there to hurl accusations and blame and to plead with county leaders to do something to divert the floodwaters that were submerging their fields and homes, sapping their livelihoods and now threatening to wipe out the city of Corcoran and farm towns across the region.