Small water and sewer utilities in California will struggle to recover after wildfires, especially if they’re near wilderness areas or far from large cities, according to a new report from S&P Global Ratings. After major natural disasters in the state, utilities are typically required to front the costs of repairs and are only reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and state government afterward. Utilities in towns that are small or poor, on the edge of flammable wilderness, or far from a major city will have particular trouble in paying for those costs upfront or reestablishing service quickly so they can resume collecting revenue, according to the report by credit analyst Tim Tung.
Archive for date: November 20th, 2018
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In the not-too-distant future, disasters won’t come one at a time. Instead, according to new research, we can expect a cascade of catastrophes, some gradual, others abrupt, all compounding as climate change takes a greater toll. While all regions of the globe face compounding threats, the study cited California and Florida as two prime examples close to home. “Facing these climatic changes will be like getting into a fight with Mike Tyson, Schwarzenegger, Stallone, Jackie Chan — all at the same time.”
The rain that’s forecasted for later this week may give California some much-needed relief from the deadly and destructive wildfires plaguing the state. But too much sudden rainfall may pose its own dangers for land that has been burned. The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for the Butte County area, which is fighting the Camp Fire, for Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning. The warning states that there’s a chance of heavy rain which could trigger “flash floods, rockslides and/or debris flows” in a areas near the fire.
As the Civil War raged, William Brewer, a young botanist from upstate New York, spent five years cataloging California’s natural attributes for its Legislature. As he and his crew traversed the state by mule in their annual sojourns, living off the land, Brewer found much to commend. But in letters to his brother, decades later assembled into a must-read book, “Up and Down California,” Brewer also wondered whether its climate would impede its development.
As rain moves closer to fire-ravaged communities in Northern California, federal search-and-rescue team member Brian Ferreira said the pressure was on to find remains of victims of the Camp Fire. Almost 700 people were reported missing, and at least 79 people are dead. “The material that we’re dealing with it’s heavily, you know, ash and soot, and when the water touches that, it kinda turns to sediment, almost like soil again,” Ferreira said. “It is kinda urgent, yeah, that we get through this as quick as we can.”
Experts debunked a message shared thousands of times on social media that warned of the threat of “extremely toxic” rain as a consequence of the Camp Fire in California. The Facebook post told people not to let animals or pets out into the “toxic” rain, to wash them thoroughly if they do get out, and to keep a set of “outside” clothes and to change out of them immediately upon arriving home.