Biden declares a state of emergency in California due to severe storms

Biden declares a state of emergency in California due to severe storms


The precipitations of the last days have already left a balance of 12 deaths in the north of the State

Flooding caused by rain in Windsor, California.
Flooding caused by rain in Windsor, California.JUSTIN SULLIVANGetty Images via AFP
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California needed rain to alleviate a historic drought and have come in the form of severe flooding and powerful winter storms that have so far claimed the lives of 12 people. So serious is the situation in the north of the State that President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency on Sunday to speed up the arrival of federal funds.

A series of atmospheric rivers – a massive concentration of moisture for thousands of kilometers – hit the coastal areas of Santa Cruz County, south of San Francisco, leaving more than400,000 people without electricity on Sunday. In Sacramento, the Californian capital, many schools were closed on Monday due to lack of light, a scenario that the authorities expect to continue in the coming days.

“We estimate that the worst is yet to come,” said Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday. “We are anticipating very heavy weather Monday through Tuesday morning.” According to the weather service’s forecast, “two of the most energetic and moisture-laden cyclones are headed straight for California,” with a rain-pooling effect that will lead to “landslides and the potential for major river flooding.”

Evacuation orders remain in effect in parts of Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Monterey, Sacramento and Alameda counties. In San Jose, the Silicon Valley powerhouse south of San Francisco, there are fears of the worst flooding since 2017, when more than 14,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes.

Heavy snowfall is also forecast in the Sierra Nevada region, until two meters of snowa scenario that has led the Department of Transportation to advise against using the roads in the area after having closed a stretch of road in Mono County.

As dangerous as the situation is, this is good news. to alleviate the drought that crosses California. 2022 has been especially dry, registering very worrying levels in terms of water reserves. However, experts warn that this is a deceptive picture and that it would take years of sustained rains to correct the situation.

“The rain in California will certainly help, but it won’t alleviate the overall drought in the western United States,” he told ABC. Lowell Stott, Professor of Science at the University of Southern California. The most populous state in the country “depends on the accumulation of snow and ice at high altitudes because we have very little precipitation during the spring and summer seasons,” something that they do not expect to change despite the latest storms.

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