CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 5, 2006
The Southland was hit by the first in a wave of storms that dumped 11.4 inches of rain. The resulting floods killed 20 people and sparked a flurry of lawsuits, many of them aimed at rainmaker Charles Mallory Hatfield, who billed himself as a "Moisture Accelerator." The city of San Diego had hired Hatfield to coax precipitation from the clouds. His career inspired a Broadway play that became the 1956 film "The Rainmaker," starring Burt Lancaster.