March 30, 2023

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California struggles between two storms

Flooding of the Pajaro River in California broke its banks, inundating many homes and vehicles.

Via Le Figaro with AFP

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A dam broke in California causing massive flooding. Drone Base / Reuters

California Monday is battling between two storms: a dike that broke due to heavy flooding, causing the evacuation of thousands of people, but a new storm was announced in this western US state. The Bajaro river flooded from Friday to Saturday, inundating houses and drowning vehicles. After that, the firemen went from house to house and rescued the people there.

“The Great Atmospheric River”

But by Monday morning, the breach had expanded to measure 100 yards wide, according to officials in Monterey County, south of San Francisco. “Emergency repairs are underway to stabilize it.”, according to the district, which has not identified any deaths or injuries in the area. More than 10,000 people across the county have been asked to evacuate their homes, and the Salinas River is also expected to overflow in the coming days. California, the nation’s most populous state, enjoys particularly wet winters. Especially in January, a series of storms resulted in several floods, landslides and falling trees that killed 20 people.

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Flooded Bajaro River flooded houses and submerged vehicles. Drone Base / Reuters

The current storm is fueled, like most others this season, by a “Atmospheric River”, A giant rain corridor that carries water vapor stored in the tropics, mostly around Hawaii. If the rains gradually decrease in intensity, they will fall again on Monday evening and in the area of ​​​​Tuesday, almost 5 centimeters are expected on the already saturated soil, so new flooding may occur. According to Brooke Bingaman of the US Weather Service (NWS) in the region, the risks of further flooding are very real. “It’s very important to leave vulnerable areas.”He asserted in a video posted on Twitter.

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“Remember, it’s better to spend the night in a different place than to find your home flooded or realize you’re isolated because the roads around you are closed.”, she insisted. The surrounding mountains have also recorded snowfall in recent months, resulting in large accumulations of snow. Fresh rain, from a rather warm front, may melt some of this exceptional snowfall accumulated over the past three months. What causes runoff to clog waterways?

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