Central Basin are covered even in ordinary freshets, and that in the event of a great flood the waters merely rise higher, being, for the greater extent, almost quiescent, and beyond the flooding of houses and barns and the destruction of crops, little damage is done. In other words, the flood along this portion is not torrential in character.
During the flood of 1903 the water fell so quickly all over this basin, and was collected so rapidly by the small tributaries, that a lake was formed at once which served as a cushion against which the raging torrent of the highland tributaries spent itself without doing extraordinary damage in that immediate region. Bridges which might have been lost in a smaller flood like that of 1902 were actually standing in slack water by the time the mountain torrents appeared in force. These streams caused much destruction higher up in the mountains, but in the Central Basin their energy became potential--a gathering of forces to be loosed upon the lower valley. A discuss