The third in a series of powerful winter storms unleashed a deluge in Southern California on Sunday, flooding numerous roads and freeways, setting new rainfall records and stranding some in dangerously rising waters. Forecasters had predicted this storm would be the strongest and several years, and it didn’t disappoint. While earlier storms produced periods of heavy showers, this one delivered several hours of sustained pounding rain, with damaging results.
Archive for date: January 22nd, 2017
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The third and most powerful in a series of storms pounded Southern California on Sunday, dropping nearly 4 inches of rain south of Los Angeles, flooding freeways and raising concerns about damaging mudslides. Commuters could expect a messy drive to work Monday in several areas, with rainfall expected to ease slightly but not taper off until Tuesday. Flash flood watches and warnings were in effect for swaths of greater Los Angeles and across Southern California where multiple roads were closed Sunday or blocked by fallen trees.
California’s five-year drought has brought new urgency to balancing our water use — and, even in wet years, water issues always hover close to the political boiling point. Thus the state’s proposal that San Francisco significantly reduce water imports from the Sierra has the water world bubbling. Cutbacks will require political will, creative thinking and sacrifice. Yet the Bay Area must commit to do more to prepare for a drier future.
Storm after storm has pummeled California over the past few weeks as a series of so-called atmospheric rivers has come ashore. Given the massive amounts of rain and snow that have fallen, people want to know if California’s five-year-long intensive drought is finally over. The answer, of course, depends on what people mean by “drought” and “over,” and it depends on who you ask. There isn’t—and never has been—agreement about the meaning of either word. Drought is defined and used in many ways: There are meteorological, hydrological, agricultural, and socioeconomic droughts.
What has felt like an especially wet January in California isn’t an effect of people becoming accustomed to the past half decade of drought. It really has been an exceptionally soaking month. San Francisco is experiencing the seventh-wettest January on record to date, according to the National Weather Service, and it’s nipping at the heels of January 1982, when a historic El Niño caused major flooding in California. “The storms have been one after the other,” said Anna Schneider, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Monterey office.
In the Duarte burn area, many residents decided to stay in their homes home, despite mandatory evacuation orders. Rudy Fuentes, an elementary school teacher, said he stayed behind to protect his home in case things really got out of hand, though he said, “I hope it doesn’t come to that.” His driveway was covered in about two inches of mud from Friday’s rains and mudflow, and he tied plywood across the driveway to protect it. He’s also got sandbags and, on Friday, and he and his son dug a couple of trenches.
Ventura could begin actively exploring connecting to state water if the City Council approves setting aside money for a comprehensive study evaluating what it would take. The council on Monday will consider spending up to $653,000 to have an outside consultant prepare a report that looks at the cost, design, capacity, environmental impacts and other issues that go with connecting to state water. The city in 1971 entered into an agreement with the Casitas Municipal Water District and the state Department of Water Resources to get state water, according to the city’s staff report.
The weighted vote entitlement at San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) meetings will decrease for the Rainbow Municipal Water District and the Fallbrook Public Utility District. The SDCWA board approved the weighted vote entitlement for 2017 at its Dec. 8, 2016 board meeting. The member vote entitlement is calculated based on the total cumulative financial contribution from each agency since the SDCWA was created in 1944. The contribution amount includes all taxes, assessments, fees, and charges paid to or on behalf of the SDCWA by property located within the member agency’s boundary through the June 30 end of the previous fiscal year.
Three years ago, Governor Jerry Brown declared California in a state of emergency as we faced water shortfalls in what was the driest year on record. But things have been slowly improving. We’ve seen a lot of storms this season, but is California’s drought over? NBC 7 Meteorologist, Jodi Kodesh and Mike Lee with the San Diego County Water Authority stop by Politically Speaking to discuss.