A series of large storms continues to hit the entire state of California this week, bringing much-needed rain and snow that will guarantee the water supply — but also new hazards to areas already hit by recent natural disasters.
The most significant risks are mudslides, which threaten the regions already devastated by the Camp Fire (northern California) and the Woolsey Fire (southern California) late last year. Authorities issued orders to evacuate Pulga, near the fire-ravaged town of Paradise, and warned residents of coastal Malibu to be ready to evacuate as well.
San Francisco and Los Angeles both suffered heavy rains, causing limited flooding and even mudslides in some areas. The Bay Area was also hit by a magnitude 3.4 earthquake early Wednesday morning, causing little damage.
The “atmospheric rivers” have dumped several feet of snow on mountain ski resorts, offering a boon to tourists and weekend ski enthusiasts, especially ahead of the long weekend for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. public holiday.
And extreme surfers are looking forward to the waves that are forecast to hit Bay Area beaches, which some expected to reach 40 feet in height — though the National Weather Service is warning people to stay far away.
California, with its Mediterranean climate, depends on winter rains to replenish its water supply, much of which is stored as snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The state recently endured a five-year drought, but this year marks the third straight year of solid winter precipitation, bringing relief to farmers and reducing the need for water restrictions.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.