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3 killed in severe storms in California

3 killed in severe storms in California

As of: February 6, 2024 7:52 am

Landslides, downed trees, floods – the US state of California was hit by a severe storm. In some months it rained as usual. At least three people died.

It's a storm of historic proportions: According to the US Weather Service, California hasn't seen any rain in the past two days in 150 years. There were floods, flash floods and landslides. Trees were uprooted, houses damaged, cars damaged. Officials report at least three deaths. About 710,000 people were without power Monday evening.

State Governor Gavin Newsom had warned of a “severe storm with dangerous and life-threatening consequences” on Sunday and declared a state of emergency for several counties. A flash flood warning is in effect for nearly all of Southern California. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass urged residents of the city of more than a million to leave their homes only in emergencies.

Heavy rain on Sunday caused flooding in Santa Barbara.

Casualties due to falling trees

Near Sacramento, a man was hit by a falling tree in his yard and later died of his injuries, the Sacramento County Coroner's Office said. In two other incidents, two people were seriously injured by falling trees in Northern California, US broadcaster CNN reported, among others.

The National Weather Service (NWS) called it the “most severe storm of the season” with the risk of “dangerous flooding, massive snowfall, wind shear, coastal flooding and high tides.” Between 12.7 and 25.4 centimeters of rain fell in the Los Angeles area. It said Sunday and Monday were the wettest two-day periods since 1877.

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Further landslides are possible

The storm, which initially hit the greater San Francisco area, moved further south on Monday, reaching Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. Rain intensity is expected to decrease throughout the day. However, the risk of flooding remains high. “The ground is so saturated, so oversaturated,” said Weather Service meteorologist Ariel Cohen. “It can't absorb any extra water before it slides off.” And it doesn't take much rain to trigger landslides, landslides, rockslides and other debris flows.”

The garage of a house in Los Angeles was swept away by a landslide.

The cause of the storm is a weather phenomenon known as the “Pineapple Express,” which brings large amounts of moist air from the Pacific region around Hawaii to California. During the summer, the western United States experienced an extreme heat wave with record temperatures. The following winter was unusually wet so far. According to experts, global warming is making extreme weather events more frequent.

Katharina Wilhelm, ART Los Angeles, Tagessao, February 5, 2024 at 7:42 am