California battered by ‘potentially historic’ storm. 38 million have flood alerts. What If California had channeled this water to fill reservoirs instead of the ocean?
The Office of the Governor reports Gavin Newsom Proclaimed a State of Emergency for eight counties in Southern California as a series of winter storms began impacting much of the state with high winds, damaging rain and heavy snowfall.
The proclamation covers Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The emergency proclamation includes provisions authorizing a California National Guard response if tasked, facilitating unemployment benefits for impacted residents, and making it easier for out-of-state contractors and utilities to repair storm damage.
A severe storm system began moving through California Sunday and into Monday, marking the start of what’s expected to be days’ worth of heavy rain and snow.
Some 38 million people are covered by flood alerts due to a weather system the National Weather Service said could be “potentially historic.”
Over 500,000 customers are without power in California as of Monday morning, mostly in the northern and central parts of the state, although Los Angeles is also reporting 4,000 powerless homes and businesses.
Heavy rain led to mandatory evacuations for parts of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties on Sunday and firefighters rescued 16 people from a single street in Los Angeles as mudslides caused havoc.
At least two people have died in tree fall incidents associated with the severe weather.
9.94 inches of rain was recorded near the University of California, Los Angeles; 6.33 inches north of Culver City; and 3.35 inches in Santa Barbara.
A top wind gust of 138 mph was clocked in Ward Peak near Lake Tahoe, 120 mph in Upper Bull at Patterson Mountain, and 94 mph in Grapevine, California.
Wettest Day Ever in Los Angeles
Yesterday, Feb 4th, DT L.A. had 4.10″ of rain. Exceeded daily record of 2.55″ set in 1927. Since 1877, 3rd wettest day ever for Feb (hiest 4.80″ on 2/24/1913). Ties for 10th wettest day ever with 3/15/2003. (Wettest day ever 5.88″ on 3/2/1938.) #LARain #LAWeather #SoCal #cawx
— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) February 5, 2024
What About Insurance?
CNN reports, As floods recede, many Californians could be returning to damaged homes that aren’t covered by insurance
Many victims of the massive storms now battering Southern California about are to be hit with another heartbreak — discovering their insurance won’t cover the damage.
The typical homeowners’ policy won’t cover loss from flood damage. That is covered by the National Flood Insurance Program, a part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But in California, where drought, not flooding, had been the more common problem until recently, homeowners are about as prepared for flood damage as hurricane-prone Florida residents are for earthquakes.
A look at the numbers: Data from NFIP shows only 52,400 homes and businesses are covered by flood insurance in the eight Southern California counties declared a disaster area because of this storm.
That’s less than 1% of 7.7 million households in the affected area with coverage. Those counties have a combined population of more than 22.6 million people, according to the latest estimates from the Census Bureau.
Los Angeles County, with more than 10 million residents, has only 14,600 flood insurance policies in force.
Atmospheric River Parked Over Southern California
A powerful atmospheric river-fueled storm is moving at an agonizingly slow pace across Southern California, directing a firehose of moisture at deluged cities for hours at a time.
Storms normally track across the US from west to east at a steady pace, but a feature in the atmosphere well above the surface is standing in this storm’s way, causing it to get stuck over Southern California. With nowhere to go, the storm continues to tap into the tropical moisture in the atmospheric river, increasing the heavy rain and flood threat.
The storm’s slow pace is very bad news for the region, as the longer rain lingers, the worse the flooding will likely become.
“This setup is a textbook case for widespread flooding,” the Weather Prediction Center said Monday morning.
An additional 1 to 3 inches of rain is possible across the Los Angeles basin Monday, with an additional 3 to 6 inches of rain in the area’s mountains and foothills. Multiple feet of heavy snow will bury the region’s highest elevations.
The National Weather Service in Los Angeles said an “extremely dangerous situation” is happening in the “Hollywood Hills area and around the Santa Monica Mountains” just outside of Los Angeles, adding that “life threatening landslides and additional flash flooding” were expected.
Question of the Day
Instead of massive regulations, free money handouts to immigrants, an absurd focus on DEI, and moaning about drought, what if California channeled a small amount of tax revenues to capture this rain and sent it to reservoirs instead of the ocean?
And as a result of rising taxes wasted on nonsense, Californians are in the midst of a Great Escape.
For discussion, please see Great Escape: What Metro Areas Are Attracting the Most New Renters?
Flight is not limited to individuals. Ridiculous regulations have fueled business flight and another round is coming up.
Prices at fast food restaurants in California are set to jump in April as huge minimum wage hikes kick in.
California is a disaster zone in multiple ways, and most of them are self inflicted.