Share

California Winter Storm Titan: Evacuation Orders Lifted

March 2, 2014

Residents in three California foothill communities headed home Sunday after a powerful storm that threatened to unleash mud on neighborhoods beneath unstable hills scarred by recent wildfires.

With the storm reduced to sprinkles, residents in the Los Angeles County cities of Glendora and Azusa were allowed back into their homes. Monrovia residents were allowed back late Saturday, officials said.

The storm — the largest since 2010 — kept emergency planners and rescue crews busy, but it didn't produce enough rain to pull California out of a crippling drought that has grown to crisis proportions for the state's vast farming industry.

The precipitation will bring the Los Angeles region to about half its normal rainfall for the season, Bill Patzert, a climatologist for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge, told the Los Angeles Times.

(MORE: California Flood Alerts)

"This is no drought-buster, but it's a nice, fat down payment" in the water bank, he said.

In downtown Los Angeles, the skies cleared in time for the red carpet arrivals at the Academy Awards, but rescue teams and cleanup crews were still busy.

(MORE: See How Long California's Rain Will Last)

A swift water rescue team plucked four hikers from rising waters in a risky overnight rescue Sunday in Malibu.

The hikers, who were trapped between a high wall and the rising waters in Malibu Creek State Park, were whisked out by helicopter uninjured but cold and exhausted.

In San Diego County, search and rescue teams continued to look for a 55-year-old man whose kayak was found floating upside down in stormy weather at Lake Sutherland Dam in Ramona.

High surf breached a sand berm in Long Beach late Saturday during an usually high tide, said Will Nash, a spokesman for the Long Beach Fire Department. The water caused minor damage in the parking garages and lower levels of about 20 homes there, he said.

As of Saturday evening, the storm had dropped more than 3 inches of rain in downtown Los Angeles, nearly 4.5 inches in Van Nuys and almost 12 inches at Cogswell Dam in the Angeles National Forest, according to the National Weather Service.

(MORE: California's Drought in One Shocking Image)

The storm wasn't all bad news, though.

Ski resorts were delighted with fresh snow that promised to extend their season, and in northern California, the rain boosted a local creek where endangered coho salmon spawn. Rainfall over the last month has helped facilitate the salmon's return to their spawning grounds, said the local water district officials who track their numbers.

"Coho season is wrapping up, and thankfully it's ending with more of a bang than a whimper," Eric Ettlinger, aquatic ecologist with the Marin Municipal Water District told The Marin Independent Journal.

Trash collects along the shore after after a rainstorm in Long Beach, Calif. on Saturday, March 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report


Featured Blogs

A Mostly Mild and Dry January for U.S., Punctuated by Big Storms

By Dr. Jeff Masters
February 11, 2016

The strong El Niño event dubbed “Godzilla” by one oceanographer behaved more like a hero than a monster in January, at least when it came to conditions across the United States. Mild and dry weather prevailed over much of the nation, and where it was wet or snowy, the moisture was generally well predicted and widely appreciated, apart from a titanic Northeast snowstorm.

California: What a Difference a Month Makes

By Christopher C. Burt
January 8, 2016

One month ago I posted a blog about the precipitation deficits that were endemic in California at that time (December 9, 2015) but just prior to the beginning of a series of storms that rolled in. As was expected, the storm door opened and remains open. Here is where California now stands as of January 9th, 2016 precipitation-wise. Looking a lot better!

An extraordinary meteorological event; was one of its results a 1000-year flood?

By Stu Ostro
October 5, 2015

The confluence of meteorological ingredients the first weekend in October 2015 resulted in an extraordinary weather event with severe impacts. Was one of them a 1000-year flood?

Why the Arrest of a Science-Loving 14-year-old Matters

By Shaun Tanner
September 16, 2015

By now, many of you have heard or read about the arrest of Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old high school student from Irving, Texas. Ahmed was arrested because school officials called the police after he showed one of his teachers his homemade clock. Mistaken for a bomb, Ahmed was taken into custody, interrogated, shamed, suspended (still on suspension today, Wednesday), and reprimanded. All of this after it has been found that the "device" he brought to school was indeed, a homemade clock.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.