After years of drought, California has been suffering from storms and flooding for weeks. US President Biden has now declared a state of emergency for the state.
The severe storms in California, which have killed 19 people so far, are not coming to an end even after three weeks. The otherwise sun-drenched US state was hit again at the weekend by heavy rain, storms and snowfall, the weather service reported.
There was a flood warning for around 25 million residents, and thousands of households were without electricity. President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency for California. For example, federal funds can be released for reconstruction and uninsured damage, as the White House announced late Saturday evening (local time).
Changes to Jetstream as The Main Cause
Since December 27, the west coast state has been hit by severe winter storms, floods, landslides and mudslides. “It’s been a wild few weeks,” a meteorologist told the Los Angeles Times, referring to the series of winter storms over the past three weeks. According to experts, this is also related to the jet stream, which is what the high-altitude winds around the globe are called, which has been changed by climate change.
This jet stream is currently parked over the Pacific, so to speak, and has attracted several low-pressure areas in recent weeks, the newspaper quoted meteorologist Eric Boldt of the National Weather Service as saying.
Watch Out For More Rain
An end to the storm is still not in sight. More rain was forecast for the next few days.
However, experts see it positively that the persistent rainfall has led to an alleviation of the drought that has existed in California for years.
So far, the storms have hit the Salinas Valley in the Monterey district particularly hard. Thousands of hectares of agricultural land were flooded there, said a representative of the Chamber of Commerce. This will have an impact on production in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, in the southeastern United States, clean-up efforts continued after a series of severe tornadoes that killed at least nine.
According to local media, the total economic damage caused by the storm is estimated at around one billion dollars (about 920 million euros)
This article is originally published on zdf.de