Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Preservation of CPRR Records at the CSRM in a Sacramento Flood

A disturbing History Channel TV program "Mega Disasters: California's Katrina" which was shown this afternoon indicates that the existing Northern California levy system has serious design and maintenance problems, including the use of eroding sand levies of the type that failed in New Orleans. Flooding with water 20 feet deep in Sacramento is predicted by disaster preparedness computer models. Predictions of this sort cannot be taken lightly, as they may eventually turn out to be uncannily accurate.

Are all of the unique Central Pacific Railroad records at the California State Railroad Museum located high enough so that they would be safely above the maximum flood level? Are all of these unique records digitized or microfilmed and copies kept at one or more secure offsite locations so that if the original records are destroyed, for example, by flood or fire, copies will survive? If not, what can be done?