A massive storm swept through California, although it will not have much impact on the state’s historic drought.
Strong winds, torrential rain fall and snow caused widespread blackouts in Northern California before moving to the southern part of the state on Friday. After drenching Northern California on Thursday, the storm dumped up to five inches of much-needed rain in Southern California, which triggered widespread damage and traffic jams, according to Fox News.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Jon Gottschalck” author_title=”Climate Prediction Center”]
Certainly this is good. But it’s going to be just a minor dent in the drought.
The storm caused street flooding, closed roads and caused wind gusts up to 60 mph in some areas. At the height, nearly 50,000 people lost power. The California Highway Patrol reported a spike in traffic accidents, with 236 collisions in San Diego County alone, much higher than the average of 50-75 a day.
A landslide damaged over one dozen homes and fire officials executed a rescue of two people in the Los Angeles River. The storm also caused a small tornado in South Central Los Angeles as well as a water spout off the coast of Newport Beach.
The tornado reached winds of up to 85 mph and hit a south Los Angeles intersection around 9:30 am, damaging trees and roofs, although no one was harmed, CBS News reported.
Orange County and Los Angeles County officials each pulled a body from waterways, although the cause of death was not clear in either case.
Despite the deluge of rain, meteorologists say it will have little impact on the drought. Water levels in two of California’s largest reservoirs, Shasta and Oroville, showed some improvement. As of midnight on Thursday, Shasta was at 29% capacity (up from 23% on December 1) and Oroville was at 30% (up from 26%). Both are still far lower than historic averages, according to the New York Times.