Storm swept most of highway

AFP

‘Catastrophic flooding’ warning as another storm hits California

Forecasters warned on Friday that catastrophic flooding could hit parts of California this weekend as the eighth consecutive storm approaches, as already flooded soils are unable to absorb any more rain. The most populous US state has been hit by near-record rainfall. over a three-week period of very rain that has already caused floods, landslides and widespread power outages. The Monterey Peninsula could be disconnected and the entire city of Salinas, home to 160,000 people, could be flooded.” “There will be catastrophic flooding throughout the entire Lower Salinas Valley,” the National Weather Service said. “The entire city of Salinas is in danger of flooding. Much of Castroville will be flooded. All roads near the Salinas River will be flooded and impassable. 90,000 acres or more of farmland in the Salinas Valley will be catastrophic, and many roads, homes and farmland in the Salinas Valley will suffer extensive flood damage.” Evacuation orders and warnings were common, and forecasters said major roads could become impassable, including highways connecting the Monterey Peninsula with the rest of the county.” Monterey County officials were interrupted for two to three days earlier this week,” Monterey County Sheriff Tina Nieto told reporters on Thursday. Residents have been warned that they could be stranded by floodwaters. “This is a slow-moving event,” and not all places. “The river peaks at different times,” he said. Among the 19 people killed were drivers in underwater cars, people hit by falling trees, a husband and wife who died as a result of a rockfall, and people whose bodies were found in the flood waters. Winter storms are not unusual in California. About 100 percent of the annual rain comes during a fairly busy period. But global warming, driven by the use of fossil fuels on an industrial scale, is overloading storms, making them wetter and drier. At the same time, the western US is getting dry, and much of the region is in its 23rd year of drought. Hydrologists say recent rains have helped — California received on average about nine inches (23 centimeters) of water. It’s been raining since late December — but it’s not a solution.” A few weeks of storms aren’t enough for California in this drought, but it’s definitely beautiful. Jay Lund, director of the University of California, Davis, told the San Francisco Chronicle.hg/bfm:

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