Californians have fresh memories of what such floods can do. In Montecito, a city about 130 kilometers from Los Angeles, people remember the landslides of 2018 that killed 23 people. Now they fear that history is repeating itself.
Rita Bourbon owes her survival in a flood five years ago to Italian construction workers, said pro Rita Bourbon. BBC. Craftsmen built her house over a hundred years ago, and according to Rita, it can rival any castle. She weathered the storm five years ago indoors with her crying daughter and friends, listening to the sound of rocks and pieces of houses torn from their foundations crashing into her home.
The next day, the neighborhood on the coast near Los Angeles was devastated. Twenty people did not survive the night, including Rita’s neighbor who was found lying in the mud in the garden. “I used to love the sound of it,” she says of the gurgling creek in her garden, where mature citrus trees now grow. “Now I know what he can do. We all have a little bit of PTSD here.
Montecito’s schedule ran rough again this week. Firefighters advised the entire community, home to famous Californians like Oprah Winfrey, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, to “evacuate immediately.” After some time, the firefighters withdrew the evacuation order, but the residents weren’t much relief. Saturated soils increase the risk of floods and landslides.
An evacuation order was ordered Saturday night to push In rural Sacramento. The authorities ordered the residents to “leave while the roads are clear” and take the livestock with them. Floodwaters breached dams in the area earlier this month, trapping dozens of people in cars and killing two people.
Snow flurries again spread around Lake Tahoe. Highways are closed due to lack of visibility, and ski resorts have suspended lift operations.
US President Joe Biden on Sunday evening announce A catastrophic situation for California, but also for Alabama, where nine people died in tornadoes.
Water also threatens California’s agricultural heartland. In the north of the country, the vineyards are submerged. In Capitola, the historic wharf and beach town were destroyed. US President Joe Biden has ordered federal aid to Sacramento, Merced and Santa Cruz counties.
Volunteer groups are also in full swing. Film producer Steve McGlothin is also a member of the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade. He’s lived in the area for half a century and in his clifftop home for 27 years. He saysHelping others frees him from thinking about the problems he solves on his land. Whenever it rains, he feels despondent. Plastic tarps cover the slope, which collapsed for the first time this week – the last hope to stop the full slide.
“We are looking at an Earth that has never moved before. It has been stationary for nearly 50 years and it has never been a problem.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom joins volunteers as they fill sandbags in Santa Barbara. “Over the past 16 days, in the midst of a massive drought, 24 trillion gallons of water have fallen on this state,” Governor Newsom said. According to him, California needs to rethink the way it manages water because the infrastructure here has been built for a long time.
Californians are used to extreme weather – wildfires, droughts, earthquakes. People even predict the “big earthquake” that experts predict for the state of California. However, the string of storms hitting California is something new for them.
The storms began in late December and have so far claimed at least 19 lives. This week, rescuers called off the search for a five-year-old who was freed from his mother’s arms and washed away on his way to school.
The problem with returning such large storms back is really saturated soil that can’t absorb the amount of water that falls quickly, says Kimberly Rain Miner, a NASA climatologist.
“If we fail to slow down the warming of the atmosphere, we can expect increasingly frequent extreme events,” Minerova told the BBC. “This is a global problem, not just California,” she added.
Californians are waiting for news about if and when they should evacuate and wondering where to hide. Rita Bourbon decided not to wait. Although she is confident that her home will survive, she does not want to relive the shock of the landslides. Decided to visit friends in LA this weekend. “I don’t want to have another landslide,” she said, adding that she would be “a bundle of nerves” if she stayed.
The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting a “new wave of heavy rain” starting Monday. The NWS also warned of “catastrophic flooding” in the Salinas River Valley, a major agricultural region southeast of San Francisco Bay.
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