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Atmospheric ‘Rivers’ Hitting Northern California

Storm after storm impacting the Bay Area.

California is taking it on the nose right now with one storm after another, a “train of storms” rolling in off the Pacific Ocean.

This series of storms has dropped copious amounts of rain and winds that are hurricane force, downing power lines, trees, etc.

Storms like these create multiple hazards in urban areas. Surface water flooding being one of the big ones. People are not used to these situations and can get caught when they drive through flood waters. I would also worry about basement apartments that are subject to flash flooding — people have died many times over in those situations. Not only from just the flood waters but mudslides inundating their homes. What a terrible way to die!

Then there are the suburban and rural areas that have natural vegetation that is subject to mudslides coming off of hills or areas where there are burn scars. City and county officials need to be monitoring those areas that have slid in the past and even considering some evacuations for housing areas in potential danger.

With even more storms predicted, more flooding and the potential for significant mudslides need to be top of mind. The ground is already saturated!
Eric Holdeman is a contributing writer for Emergency Management magazine and is the former director of the King County, Wash., Office of Emergency Management.