'EVACUATE NOW!': California grapples with major flooding

“éVACATE NOW!”: California grappling with major flooding

UPDATE DAY

Heavy rain was still expected to hit California on Tuesday, where successive storms have already claimed 14 lives and prompted authorities to order the evacuation of many areas, including the wealthy town of Montecito, home of Prince Harry and by Meghan Markle.

“Winter storms have killed 14 Californians, more than wildfires in the past two years,” state Governor Gavin Newsom’s office said. in a press release.

“Several days of bad winter weather are still ahead of us,” added the governor, asking his fellow citizens to be “hyper vigilant”.

In Paso Robles, a small town halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a 5-year-old boy was washed away Monday and remains missing, local media reported, citing the sheriff's office.

The flood had trapped the car in which he was traveling with his mother, who was rescued by a neighbour. Authorities had to suspend their search in the afternoon because of the weather, according to the Fox 11 channel.

The region is still expecting heavy rain, thunderstorms and very strong winds on Tuesday, d 'after the weather services (NWS).

“éVACATE NOW!”: California grappling with major flooding< /p>

“éVACATE NOW!”: California grappling with major floods

“éVACATE NOW!”: California grappling with major flooding< /p>

  • AFP

“”VACATE NOW!”: California grappling with major flooding

  • AFP

< p>“éVACATE NOW!”: California grappling with major flooding< /p>

  • AFP

“ÉVACATE NOW!”: California grapples with major flooding

  • AFP

< p>“éVACATE NOW!”: California grappling with major flooding< /p>

  • AFP

“ÉVACATE NOW!”: California grapples with major flooding

  • AFP

< p>“éVACATE NOW!”: California grappling with major flooding< /p>

  • AFP

“”VACATE NOW!”: California grappling with major flooding

  • AFP

< p>“éVACATE NOW!”: California grappling with major flooding< /p>

  • AFP

“This is crazy” 

Authorities have ordered the evacuation of Montecito, a coastal town north of Los Angeles and a haunt of celebrities. Actress Jennifer Aniston and TV presenter Oprah Winfrey, among others, own homes worth millions of dollars.

The area was expected to receive up to 20 centimeters of rain in 24 hours, on hills already saturated with water from the storms of the past few days. Enough to make the city, surrounded by mountains largely weakened by a fire five years ago, extremely vulnerable to landslides.

Five years ago, mudslides caused by heavy rains had caused the death of 23 people in the city.

In Montecito, where actress Gwyneth Paltrow and singer Katy Perry also reside, residents were evacuating their homes, but it was still unclear how many had followed the evacuation order.

Spokespersons of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not respond to a request for comment.

Blocks had been erected by police to prevent anyone entering the town where several roads were completely flooded , noted an AFP journalist.

Over the past 30 days, Montecito has received precipitation “well above our annual average,” firefighters recalled on Twitter.

< p>On Monday, TV host Ellen DeGeneres, who also lives in the city, posted a video to Twitter showing a torrent of muddy water.

“It's crazy,” she said. “That creek next to our house absolutely never flows.”

Serial Storms 

The area wasn't the only one to be evacuated.

In Santa Cruz County near San Francisco, where a pier was destroyed last week, more than 30,000 residents are also affected by an evacuation order.

Several regions have experienced near-record rainfall in recent days. The ground is completely saturated with water and the US Weather Service (NWS) has issued flood warnings for much of California.

As of Tuesday morning, nearly 220,000 homes were without power , according to the specialized site PowerOutage.

While it is difficult to establish a direct link between these storms and climate change, scientists regularly explain that warming increases the frequency and intensity of meteorological phenomena extremes.

Last week's storm had already knocked out power to tens of thousands of people, caused severe flooding and landslides. It came just days after another deluge of rain on New Year's Eve.

The exceptional rains of the past few days will not be enough to replenish water supplies in California, hard hit by drought for two decades. Several winters of above-normal precipitation would be necessary for this, according to experts.