No disaster is entirely natural in our re-engineered state and valley. Owing to our hubris, we humans have a direct hand in them all. We have built cities on earthquake faults, balanced mansions on hillsides that burn in one season and slide into the ocean in the next, and moor boats in marinas where tsunamis are known to strike. Having dammed almost all major rivers in California and many tributaries and creeks, we have constructed entire cities in what a century or 150 years ago was swamp, and made islands of rocks piled on peat.
Archive for date: February 18th, 2017
California is not the only place in the West confronting startling amounts of rain and snow. Drought conditions have declined substantially across the region in recent weeks, with heavy storms replenishing reservoirs and piling fresh powder on ski resorts. Yet there is one place where the precipitation has been particularly welcome and could be transformative: the Colorado River basin, which provides water to nearly 40 million people across seven states.
Cleanup was beginning across Southern California on Saturday after a storm that forecasters billed as the most powerful in years caused flooding on multiple freeways, triggered dramatic mudslides and downed hundreds of trees and power lines. The storm was moving out Saturday morning after dumping record rain in some areas and leaving havoc in its wake. Thousands of Los Angeles County residents remained without power early Saturday, while road crews scrambled to repair sinkholes throughout the area, including one in Studio City that swallowed two vehicles Friday night. No one was injured in the incident.