Time does not let go of the United States. After the cold and snowy storm at the end of the year during which dozens of people died, now it is the rains and floods that hit the country, especially California.
The exhausting succession of thunderstorms in California gives no respite. This Tuesday the heavy rains flooded the routes and caused strong waves on the coasts, as well as turning the rivers into flooded areas which forced to evacuate thousands of people in places with a history of avalanches. At least 14 people died since the floods started last week.
In the city of Montecitothe region where Prince Harry and his wife, actress Meghan Markle live, authorities have ordered an evacuation for fear that a landslide I could bury houses.
“LEAVE NOW! This is a rapidly evolving situation. Pay close attention to emergency warnings,” the fire department said on its website.
The city with multimillion-dollar properties is particularly vulnerable to landslides, as it sits at the foot of a mountain range that was scene of a fire five years ago which devastated hundreds of square kilometers which stripped the slopes of vegetation which normally holds the ground in place.
In Santa Cruz, for its part, evacuation orders were issued 32 thousand peoplewhile in Santa Barbara, about 210 kilometers to the south, at least 10,000 people were forced to leave their homes due to the dangers generated by heavy rains.
“Two major events of torrential rain and heavy snow from the mountains are expected to hit California in quick succession over the next couple of days in connection with two of the most energetic cyclones and laden with moisture pointing directly toward California,” the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
A scenario that does not improve
Storms arose on Monday 35.5cm of water in high areas of central and southern California, according to the National Weather Service.
Forecasts indicate that after a brief lull, a new storm will hit the state within days, which would aggravate the difficulties and would further saturate land already at risk of flooding and streams.
The storms left behind a transportation mess, threatened coastal and riverside cities, and left tens of thousands of people without electricity. The Weather Service issued a flood warning for Tuesday for the entire San Francisco bay area, as well as the Sacramento Valley and Monterey Bay.
Areas affected by forest fires in recent years could experience mudslides and debris on bare slopes, which have not yet recovered their protective layer of vegetation.
Additional downpours on Tuesday will exacerbate current flooding and maintain the risk of flash floods and mudslides, especially in regions where there have been recent fires, the agency said.
Forecasters have also warned that California could record wind gusts of 97 kilometers per hour at the height of the storm, and some areas could receive rainfall of 5 inches per hour.
The death toll from the series of storms that began last week rose 12 to 14 on Monday after two people, including a homeless man, were killed by falling trees, according to state officials.
California state highway authorities said on Monday that parts of the state and federal highway network were cut by floodsrock or mud avalanches, heavy snow, or damaged cars and trucks.
The closures included the northbound lanes of Federal Highway 101, a crucial coastal route, and sections of Federal Route 6 and State Route 168.
Evacuation orders have been issued in Santa Cruz County for about 32,000 residents who live near flooded rivers and streams. The St. Lawrence River was declared to be in a state of flooding and drone images showed many houses surrounded by murky water with the top half of cars poking out.
much of California continues in a state of severe or extreme droughtalthough the storms helped fill the depleted tanks.
Source: Associated Press
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.