Exceptionally heavy rain caused debris flows and flash flooding that damaged as many as two dozen homes and buildings in California’s Salinas Valley, Wednesday. In Paso Robles, unhoused people living in the Salinas Riverbed are especially in danger and local officials were working to alert them to the potential 20-25-foot rise in water levels. The heavy rains produced by an atmospheric river also caused flooding and knocked out power for thousands in the Bay Area and the threat of landslides and debris flows remains across the state after the state’s record-smashing 2020 wildfire season.
The landslides are an example of the compound disasters made more frequent as human-caused climate change makes wildfires more extreme and extreme precipitation more frequent. (Mudslides: King City Rustler, SFGate, Weather Channel, KION, ABC, KPIX, KSBW, Los Angeles Times, AP, Unhoused people: KSBY; Outages: San Francisco Chronicle, Atmospheric river: Washington Post $, AP; Climate Signals background: 2020 Western wildfire season, Extreme precipitation, Runoff and flood risk)