See the end of this Sacramento-region mall, flooded in 1986, that never recovered

·2 min read

Workers were busy this week demolishing much of Linda’s former Peach Tree Mall, a once-vital Marysville-area shopping destination which never recovered from being flooded in a 1986 Yuba River levee break.

The flood sent a 4-foot wall of water through the area south of Marysville, causing 10,000 people to evacuate, according to Bee reports. The water, which ultimately reached a depth of 6 feet, stranded some customers on the mall’s second floor, forcing rescue.

Linda resident Dane Cobb, 62, visited the mall site Thursday to see the demolition. He remembers the flood.

“It was sudden,” said Cobb, whose family was sitting down for dinner with the news on TV on Feb. 20, 1986. “The guy who was watching the river said ‘Emergency announcement — there’s been a major levee break in Linda.’ We were out the door right away.”

The Peach Tree Mall, built in 1972, was anchored by J.C. Penney and had 75 shops. About 6,700 homes and other buildings also flooded in Linda and Olivehurst.

The Peach Tree Mall, just south of Marysville, flooded in February 1986 after a levee on the Yuba River failed.
The Peach Tree Mall, just south of Marysville, flooded in February 1986 after a levee on the Yuba River failed.

“The water was pushing the cars across the parking lot,” CHP officer Ken Miller, who was near the levee when it collapsed, told the Bee in 1986.

A new mall opened in 1990 across the river in Yuba City, anchored by J.C. Penney, Sears and Gottschalks. Other tenants included B. Dalton Booksellers, Kinney Shoes and Atari Expo. The Peach Tree was renovated after the flood, and leased for office space and some small shops, but it could not compete with the newer mall.

An October 2021 fire burned a substantial portion of the structure and destroyed the roof.

The FoodMaxx now on the site will remain, in part of the 96,000 square feet of the original mall — untouched by the fire — that won’t be demolished, according to The Appeal Democrat.

As the Sutter Buttes stand the background, the former Peach Tree Mall in Linda is demolished Thursday. The mall never recovered after flooding after a 1986 levee break.
As the Sutter Buttes stand the background, the former Peach Tree Mall in Linda is demolished Thursday. The mall never recovered after flooding after a 1986 levee break.
A sign for Excel Video hangs above the boarded up shop in the former Peach Tree Mall in Linda on Thursday as the demolition of the structure is underway. The mall never reopened after it was flooded in a 1986 levee break on the Yuba River.
A sign for Excel Video hangs above the boarded up shop in the former Peach Tree Mall in Linda on Thursday as the demolition of the structure is underway. The mall never reopened after it was flooded in a 1986 levee break on the Yuba River.
Water damage is apparent on the walls of the Excel Video shop in the former Peach Tree Mall in Linda on Thursday as the demolition of the structure is underway. Renamed the Feather River Center, the mall never recovered from the disaster, caused by a levee break on the Yuba River.
Water damage is apparent on the walls of the Excel Video shop in the former Peach Tree Mall in Linda on Thursday as the demolition of the structure is underway. Renamed the Feather River Center, the mall never recovered from the disaster, caused by a levee break on the Yuba River.
The Feather River Center in Linda is demolished Thursday. The center, formerly known as Peach Tree Mall, flooded during a 1986 levee break on the Yuba River and never reopened.
The Feather River Center in Linda is demolished Thursday. The center, formerly known as Peach Tree Mall, flooded during a 1986 levee break on the Yuba River and never reopened.
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