The inhabitants of California are struggling with the consequences of the next – eleventh – atmospheric river. In the city of San Clemente, the ground could not withstand the excess moisture and landslides, destroying some of the coastal properties. The services fear that more dangerous phenomena will occur.
The eleventh atmospheric river since Christmas arrived in California on Wednesday. The phenomenon is an extensive wind tunnel, carrying huge amounts of moisture. The state once again experienced heavy rainfall, power outages and communication paralysis. Many people had to leave their homes in a hurry.
>>> Read more: What is an atmospheric river?
“It only lasted a short while”
US meteorologists are surprised at how wet the last few weeks have been for the West Coast. For many months, the region has struggled with a lack of rainfall, and the recorded drought has significantly deteriorated the condition of the soil. In many places, the dry ground was simply not able to absorb such a huge dose of rain at once, which is why, for example, in the city of San Clemente landslides appeared.
Several properties in this seaside town have been split in half by collapsing land masses. There were plots where a landslide caused swimming pools or gazebos to be just above the abyss.
– The cliff collapsed around 7.30 in the morning. It sounded a bit like an earthquake until it shook the building. It happened really fast, it took a while,” said CJ Smith, one of the victims of the landslide.
Since the area is not safe now, his neighbors Alex and Becky Heumann spent Wednesday afternoon packing their things to move to another location.
“It was terrifying,” said Heumann.
The scenic Pacific Coast Highway is closed in several places due to the possibility of further landslides.
“We’ve had a lot of rain this season and I don’t think it’s over. We are concerned that at the moment there are even more places where the land is slipping. We are working with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the San Clemente Department. We also have a geologist on site. We are trying to determine what the extent of the problem is and what the next step should be,” Thanh Nguyen, captain of the local fire brigade, reported.
The threats don’t stop there
California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in 43 of the state’s 58 counties. According to the data of local energy companies, more than 130,000 houses and buildings of enterprises are without electricity.
Alerts are in place across California for potential flooding and mudslides that can occur from downpours, melting snow, and overflowing rivers.
The precipitation brought by the eleventh atmospheric river calmed down on Wednesday evening. In the following hours, the rain fell much less and only locally. Meteorologists from the US National Weather Service (NWS) are not optimistic, however. According to forecasts, next week California may hit another – the twelfth phenomenon.
Main photo source: Reuters