Deadly California Storm Brings Unrelenting Rain, Flooding
A powerful storm wreaking havoc across California has resulted in at least three fatalities and unleashed devastating mudslides and flooding, inundating communities with months’ worth of rain in just one day.
Mountainsides collapsed in upscale neighborhoods like the Hollywood Hills, burying cars and damaging homes, while mudslides in areas like Beverly Glen knocked residences off their foundations, spilling their contents onto the streets.
With more than ten inches of rainfall recorded in parts of Los Angeles County within a 24-hour period and no signs of abating, the situation remains dire. The National Weather Service (NWS) has warned of “life-threatening flash flooding” and issued advisories for various hazards including mudslides, strong winds, and high surf.
California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for large swathes of Southern California, emphasizing the severity of the storm and its potential for life-threatening impacts.
Travel has been severely impacted, with flooded streets and highways causing significant delays and disruptions. Flights out of Los Angeles Airport have been canceled or delayed, further complicating transportation in the region.
The storm, fueled by an atmospheric river originating from the Pacific Ocean, is part of a weather phenomenon known as a “pineapple express,” which brings tropical moisture from the vicinity of Hawaii. Forecasters anticipate up to eight more inches of rain, exacerbating the already hazardous conditions.
Tragically, three individuals lost their lives in separate incidents related to the storm, underscoring the dangers posed by extreme weather events. Meanwhile, over 300,000 customers are without power across the state, adding to the challenges faced by residents.
While wet winters are not uncommon in California, experts attribute the intensification of storms to human-caused climate change, which alters weather patterns, making storms more severe and unpredictable.
The current storm serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for climate action and underscores the importance of preparedness and resilience in the face of increasingly frequent and intense weather events.