'In urgent need of an ark!' Parched California experiences copious rainfall - with flash floods and mudslides
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By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online
12/3/2014 (4 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
"When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers," Wit Oscar Wilde once exclaimed. This has proven true for California. The nation's bread basket, which has experienced a lengthy and brutal drought was recently blessed with rainfall. Lots of it. Now, Californians are digging out from mudslides as they brace for even more wet weather.
While it has inconvenienced many, most agree that the recent rainfall in California was desperately needed.
LOS ANGEELS, CA (Catholic Online) - It was all too much, too soon. The sudden cloudbursts caused chaos with mudslides. Flooding was reported across the region, prompting evacuations and flight delays.
Flash flood warnings have been extended. Even more rain is expected, with morning showers turning into heavier rainfall towards the afternoon and evening hours.
A chair is seen in a damaged front yard as crews work to channel mudflows in the area of the 2013 Springs Fire, in Camarillo, California December 2 where slopes were denuded of vegetation that helps maintain soil integrity during 2013 wildfires.
An additional 1-1.5 inches of rain on the coast and 2-2.5 inches of rain in the mountains is expected shortly. The storm's rainfall is expected to reach a total of six inches before finally tapering out Thursday morning.
The expected rain is expected to hit hardest in the San Gabriel Valley and Mountainous northeast of Los Angeles. There's also a chance of thunderstorms.
A resident sweeps water and debris as rain begins to fall in Glendora, California as a major Pacific storm hammered California on Tuesday.
Take the word of the experts -- "In general, that's a lot," Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth declared. There's a literal silver lining, however: after California's three-year-long drought, the state could "really use it," he says.
The rain began falling overnight Monday in Northern California. Even heavier downpours were reported in Southern California, where recent burns have cleared slopes of the vegetation that helps hold soil in place. Traffic was backed up. In addition, flights at Los Angeles and San Francisco airports were delayed.
A powerful winter storm brought heavy rain to southern California burn areas in Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties on Tuesday, stirring widespread fears of mudslides and making those nightmares a reality for some.
Downtown Los Angeles Tuesday night had received 1.21 inches of rain, breaking a 1961 record for the day, according to the weather service. Meanwhile the mountain regions received much more, with 4.56 inches recorded in Yucaipa. An inch of rainfall also set daily records in Oxnard, the mountain town of Sandberg and at airports in Los Angeles, Camarillo, Long Beach, Lancaster and Palmdale.
About 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, Camarillo Springs suffered mudslides as debris began pouring from adjacent hillsides before noon on Tuesday. A mandatory evacuation of about 75 homes was called for. The order was lifted later that evening. Authorities urged people to stay away voluntarily.
Resident Tom Smisek stands at a warning sign in Silverado Canyon, California on Tuesday.
A mudslide in the same Ventura County community on Halloween buried one home in mud three feet deep, the result of a wildfire that burned the area more than a year ago.
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