Ahead of typical holiday craziness, this week has seen regions across the United States experience unprecedented natural disasters. Friday night unleashed massive storms and an onslaught of horrifying tornadoes across the midwest.
Several days later, California experienced trouble of their own. Rescue and recovery efforts further ensue in the central region of the country. Simultaneously, first responders across several CA counties were called out to look for victims as a massive storm resulting in major flooding slammed the coastal state on Tuesday.
According to the New York Post, the storm slammed southern CA, rapidly resulting in flash floods throughout the region’s burn areas left by 2020’s Bond Fire. As rain pounded Orange County neighborhoods, including Silverado, Modjeska, and Williams Canyon, muddy debris added another layer to the storm’s threats. Residents within the county saw a mandatory evacuation.
Firefighters had their work cut out as rain and flooding had crews searching the Los Angeles River for victims. Simultaneously, first responders navigated a fast-moving mud flow in Orange County among efforts to pull trapped residents from homes.
Flash flooding surely presents a threat of its own. However, CA’s Tuesday storm posed several different threats that East Coasters might not typically consider among these situations. Casey Oswang, a meteorologist with San Diego’s National Weather Service said, “That [burn scar] does not have a lot of vegetation yet that has regrown, so it makes it very susceptible to debris flow.”
Overall, he summed a lack of natural barriers enables powerful debris flows and mud-rushes to run over local areas.
Vehicles Swept Into River Among Flash Floods
As mudslides and debris consumed Orange County, certain regions saw mass totals in rainfall, three to seven inches overall.
That said, first responders saw three vehicles strung along within the fast-moving waters of the Los Angeles River.
Nicholas Prange, spokesperson for the LA Fire Department, said the first car became wedged against a Washington Bridge Column. Unfortunately, though, the rushing water kept first responders from identifying whether there was a victim in the car.
Meanwhile, the flash floods strung two other vehicles along. However, these continued to float past the bridge and toward the neighboring L.A. County. Prange said, “So far, we have not recovered any victims who might have been in the three vehicles.”
Now, 24 hours following the rain and flooding’s destruction, David Gomberg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard, said the majority of heavy rain has moved on. However, as of Tuesday, residents within the state’s Grapevine area were sent reports of one other band from the storm, which would bring not only heavy rain, but also potential snow showers.