At Least 8 Dead as Storms Continue to Ravage California

It seems like just yesterday we were lamenting California’s lack of precipitation. My, how things change.

Storms and runoff continued to batter Northern parts of the state on Tuesday, causing flooding, sinkholes, levee breaks and worries over dam integrity. At least eight people were killed and 200 evacuated from a San Jose neighborhood hit hard by atmospheric rivers. It was the most severe flooding the area had seen in 20 years.

Numerous counties remain under evacuation orders and worries are mounting over the state’s aging infrastructure. One week after the crisis at the Oroville Dam spillway, the Don Pedro Reservoir in Stanislaus County reached 830 feet, activating the spillway for the first time in two decades. The Anderson Dam in Santa Clara County also reached capacity Saturday. By Sunday, water was flowing over into Coyote Creek, causing flooding on freeways and neighborhoods. Several hundred people were also evacuated in San Joaquin County Monday following a levee breach in the town of Manteca.

The Southland too was hit by severe storms on Friday, leading to a massive sinkhole in L.A.’s Studio City area and a powerline-related death in Sherman Oaks. The sinkhole was the result of failed sewer line, officials said. In San Bernardino, a crumbling road led a firetruck to plunge over the 15 freeway. Everyone survived.

“I’m not surprised by any of this that is happening right now because we have been delaying maintenance everywhere,” said Hasan Ikhrata, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Southern California Association of Governments. Former San Bernardino Mayor Patrick Morris concurred. “I guess that’s testimony of the amount of maintenance needed in California,” he told the Daily News.

There will be more testimonies to follow. The National Weather Service is predicting more wild weather, especially for Northern parts of the state.


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Finance

Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 05:13

The noose is tightening around California’s cities and counties. At least one-third of local and state budgets now go toward public employee pensions.