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California storms cause widespread flooding, mudslide warnings

Communities across California are under flood warnings. Associated Press/Photo by Bronte Wittpenn

California storms cause widespread flooding, mudslide warnings

The latest in a string of storms on Tuesday battered California, adding to the state’s widespread flooding and power outages. The deaths of at least 14 people have been attributed to the storms since they began in late December. The city of Montecito was told to evacuate yesterday over mudslide warnings, the same day as the fifth anniversary of a mudslide that killed 23 people there in 2018. Another storm is projected to hit the state tomorrow and officials have ordered the evacuation of other communities near rain-filled waterways.

How can the state handle severe flooding? About 90 percent of Californians on Monday were under a flood watch just days after several counties were experiencing a severe drought. California has experienced serious droughts in recent years and some scientists say the state should allow waterways to flood and refill underground aquifers instead of using levees to divert floodwaters. However, the plan would require some communities and landowners to give up space for rivers to flood.

Dig deeper: Read Esther Eaton’s report in WORLD Magazine on how people on both sides of the climate change issue are trying to talk it out.

Lauren Canterberry

Lauren Canterberry is a reporter for WORLD. She graduated from the World Journalism Institute and the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, both in 2017. She worked as a local reporter in Texas and now lives in Georgia with her husband.

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