Flood impacts Northern California


March 13, 2019

As the Northern California area continued to get more and more rain, there started to be concern. This past weekend, the Northern part of California, particularly the Sacramento area, had about 520 mm of water fall in a 48-hour span. As the wet weather continued to fall, many people living in the area started to prepare for the worst. Thousands of people evacuated their homes Sunday, with hopes they’d come back to a healthy home and property. Each and every family followed many flood repercussions all throughout their properties in an effort to keep their belongings as dry as possible.

About 80 miles west of Sacramento, the towns of Guerneville and Monte Rio were hit the hardest. As described by a local weatherman, “the towns now look like islands.” Many towns and cities were completely destroyed, with some cities remaining hopeful about their situation. 

The large amount of rainfall caused rivers to overflow, which then in turn led to most of the flooding. The Eel River, a river that flows along the edges of Guerneville, Palm Springs, and Monte Rio, reached record-breaking heights. This river overflowed to its max, then some more over the weekend, due to the rainfall. The river usually has a crest of about 28 feet, but exceeded 45 feet, which is 15 feet over its flood levels. Other buildings and homes were flooded with up to 8 feet of rushing water. 

The large amount of rainfall isn’t the only cause of the flooding. This rainfall was in the same area that had a massive wildfire last June. The wildfire left the surrounding region devastated, with a lot of damage. Homes, buildings, and nature were all destroyed over thousands of miles. The Sacramento area was just rebounding off of the wildfire, then came an immense rainfall. Much of the nature/plants would typically soak up some of the water in times of floods, but because it was all destroyed, there was no defense to stop the flooding. 

The California governor called for rescue missions throughout the hard hit areas on Monday. The rescue teams are currently scattered over Northern California in boats looking for anyone who may need help. As of Monday, the flooding caused one death, as a man was lifted off of his feet and drowned in the fast-flowing water. 

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