Recent Relief for Californians as Storm Subsides
As Californians are finally getting a break from what officials are deeming a historic three-day atmospheric river storm, there is a new concern lingering on the horizon. Officials are alerting the public about potential threats of mudslides and floods in the Los Angeles area as a smaller storm system is expected to hit the region shortly after the current storm retreats.
Potential Risks and Warnings
According to LA Fire Chief Kristin Crowley, as of Tuesday night, Los Angeles has already experienced a total of 475 mudslides, 390 fallen trees, 12 structure fires, and numerous water rescues. These alarming numbers were shared during a press conference held with city officials.
Tyler Kranz, the lead meteorologist at the National Weather Service station in Los Angeles, has cautioned that the city is in for another heavy burst of rainfall on Wednesday night from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. This could potentially trigger more mudslides and flooding in southern California.
A flood watch has been extended for Los Angeles County until 1 a.m. on Wednesday, with the NWS mentioning that most areas in the county are expected to receive at least an additional inch of rain from the upcoming storm.
Impact and Record Rainfall
Officials have highlighted the risks associated with even moderate rainfall, as the saturated ground is incapable of retaining more water. Kranz emphasized that minimal rainfall could lead to lasting impacts in the area.
With the Hollywood Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains experiencing the highest levels of rain, recording over 12 inches of rainfall since the storm began on Sunday, the situation remains dire. In contrast, downtown Los Angeles recorded 8.6 inches, according to data released by the NWS.
Lessons from Past Storms
Atmospheric rivers, notably “Pineapple Express” storms like the recent one in California, have previously caused significant harm and claimed lives. In January 2023, a series of storms had a devastating impact, resulting in the loss of at least 20 lives in the state. While the current storm’s death toll has not been officially released, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass confirmed that no deaths have been reported in the city due to the storm.
Despite the easing of rain, caution is urged, as the ground’s instability and potential shifts persist even after the storm passes. Other regions across the state have reported fatalities related to the storm, with multiple incidents such as fatal car crashes and incidents of people being swept away by floodwaters.
In summary, while the immediate storm threat may be subsiding, the aftermath lingers on with the possibilities of mudslides and floods still looming over the Los Angeles area. Stay vigilant and stay safe as we navigate through these challenging weather conditions.