California: From Drought To MudslidesBy: Ellisha Rader Mannering - March 3, 2014
California doesn’t always have it easy when it comes to weather. While much of the state has been suffering from a drought, the rainfall over the last few days will not be enough to bring it to an end. A large storm struck California over the weekend and provided many areas with over half of the normal rainfall for the season.
The rains were enough to cause mudslides in some areas and many residents left their homes, just in case. The foothill communities east of Los Angeles were one of the first areas to be hit by the large storm and mandatory evacuation orders were issued for over 1,000 homes in the area. Just a few weeks ago, this same area was being destroyed by wildfires.
Some areas of California got as much as 6 inches of rain in just a few hours and although the storm was fairly fast moving, flooding and power outages still occurred. In spite of the heavy rain, the state is still at least 12 inches below normal rainfall totals for the season.
“We need several large storms and we just don’t see that on the horizon. This is a rogue storm,” National Weather Service meteorologist Eric Boldt said. “We will dry out next week.”
Many people who were caught off guard by the storm had to be rescued and evacuated due to rising waters. Several hikers were trapped between a high wall and the rising waters in Malibu Creek State Park and had to be rescued by a helicopter. The body of a 55-year-old man whose kayak was found upside down Saturday at Lake Sutherland Dam in Ramona was also discovered by rescue workers. Traveling conditions also became dangerous and there were many accidents on both major highways and side streets.
The weather managed to clear up in time for the Oscars and the storm has moved east where it will bring snow and ice along with rain and sleet.
What do you think of the recent weather conditions in California?
Image via Wikimedia Commons