Jan 10, 2023
President Biden has approved a declaration of emergency for California as the state has been hit by a storm system that has flooded rivers, caused landslides, and killed a dozen people over the past 10 days.
Since New Year’s weekend, Northern and Central California have been battered by a relentless series of brutal storms. They've brought extended heavy rainfall and high winds to the state. Wind gusts of up to 60 mph toppled big trees and power lines over the weekend. Hundreds of thousands have lost power. Dozens of people have been caught in mudslides and floods.
Governor Gavin Newsom asked Biden for the emergency declaration. The status frees up federal money. The funds will help the state battle against the storms and recover when they finally end. Newsom also told Californians to be wary of the storms. He doesn't want them to take them lightly.
“Don't test fate,” Newsom cautioned residents. “Just a foot of water and your car's floating, you know, half a foot of water and you're off your feet.”
The severe weather should continue through the week and could worsen, experts predict. Wind gusts may reach up to 100 mph. Rain will keep falling. Ultimate damage estimates could hit $1 billion.
The storms result from a weather pattern called an atmospheric river storm. These are intense, narrow currents of moist air that can carry a lot of water vapor. They usually travel thousands of miles, from tropical areas to higher altitudes. Most rainfall received along the US West Coast over the winter months results from these types of storms.
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