New GOLD Rush Caused by Drought in California

By Ashley Collman

The drought in California is causing farmland to die, and threatening the water supplies of rural communities, but it’s been a godsend for modern gold miners.

Prospectors say the drought is causing a second Gold Rush, since extremely low water levels are opening up areas never mined before.

‘A lot of time you would just see a husband. Now you’re seeing the whole family out,’ Kevin Hoagland, of the Gold Prospectors Association of America, told KCAL.

Like 1849 all over again: Low water levels in California's historic drought are opening up areas never touched by miners and causing what prospectors are calling a second Gold Rush

Like 1849 all over again: Low water levels in California’s historic drought are opening up areas never touched by miners and causing what prospectors are calling a second Gold Rush

Lucky strike: Beginners can expect to find anywhere between $5 and $200 worth of gold in these 'untouched' areas
Lucky strike: Beginners can expect to find anywhere between $5 and $200 worth of gold in these 'untouched' areas

Lucky strike: Beginners can expect to find anywhere between $5 and $200 worth of gold in these ‘untouched’ areas

 

 

The first Gold Rush began in 1848 when deposits of the precious metal were discovered in Coloma, California.

That set off a mass migration, with some 300,000 people (forty-niners) from all over the U.S. and world coming to California with the hopes of striking it rich.

In the first five years of the Gold Rush, an estimated 12million ounces of gold were mined – worth more than $16million today – but the rush soon fizzled out.

Get rich quick: More than 300,000 people migrated to California during the Gold Rush of 1849, but the previous metal deposits mostly dried up by 1855

 

With the current drought, modern prospectors say they’re digging in places never touched by the forty-niners.

Hoagland points out several places on Lytle Creek, just 60 miles from Los Angeles, that would have been inaccessible just a few years ago because of swift water.

‘I’m 50-some odd years old and I have never had water levels in this area this low,’ he said.

Brief: The second Gold Rush may be over as soon as it started though. Rain is expected to his the Los Angeles area this weekend with the heaviest rainfall on Friday morning into the afternoon

 

More prospectors have been coming out to the creek in recent weeks with pans, slough boxes and metal detectors than is usual for the winter.

Gold is currently selling for $1300 a troy ounce, and Hoagland says beginners can make anywhere between $5 and $200 a day.

But this second Gold Rush may be over as soon as it started.

A storm is set to hit southern California Friday and could last all weekend, with the heaviest rainfall expected Friday morning into the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

Record drought: These satellite images show the parched California landscape this year compared to a normal year with plenty of foliage and snow coverage last year

 

Today: California's drought continues to worsen, with ten rural communities identified as having fewer than 60 days' supply of water

 

Parched: Water levels for many of California's major reservoirs are well below average and dropping; concern is mounting that California may be headed for a replay of the big drought of the late 1980s through the early 1990s, or even worse, 1977

This has local authorities worried about mudslides and traffic accidents with so much rain in such a short period of time.

Since July, Los Angeles has received just 1.2 inches of rain, which means there’s been a build-up of oil on the roads that will become slick once wet.

It’s also a cause for concern for residents living in hilly areas.

Many residents in Glendora took off work Tuesday just to protect their homes from the expected storm.

Getting ready: Residents in Glendora pictured sandbagging their homes in preparation for the storm

Cause for concern: So much rain in a short amount of time has emergency officials fearing mudslides in the area

 

 

Glendora City Manager Chris Jeffers told the Los Angeles Times that the storm is a cause for concern, comparing the weather conditions to a similar event in 1968 which led to extremely damaging mudflows.

Despite the dangers, the rain will be celebrated across the state where water supplies have become dangerous low.

Images released by NASA comparing a full Folsom Lake in July 2011 to last month show just how desperate the situation is.

The drought is causing a serious economic consequences for the state since much of the nation’s most successful farmland is going to waste because there isn’t any water to keep the fields alive.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2568569/California-drought-causing-SECOND-Gold-Rush-low-water-levels-open-areas-never-mined-before.html#ixzz2uSFISAIg

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