Report Projects Impact of Huge Storm In California

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Scientists dub it California’s “other Big One,” a series of storms capable of costing three times as much as a severe Southern California earthquake.

The storms have happened before, lasting 45 days in the winter of 1861-62. They left nearly a third of taxable land under water and caused the state to go bankrupt.

If a similar scenario played out today, flooding in the Central Valley could stretch 300 miles long and more than 20 miles wide, a report released Thursday by the U.S. Geological Survey found. The storms also could cause hundreds of landslides and serious damage in the state’s major population centers.

“Storm are less sudden, less dramatic, and thus loom smaller than earthquakes do in the imagination of risk,” the report said. “But the evidence shows these storms do pose a real risk for California, in some ways far greater than that of earthquakes.”

A team of 117 scientists, engineers and public policy and insurance experts worked for two years to create the hypothetical scenario. They met in Sacramento on Thursday to discuss the report and were not available to comment.

The report raises questions about authorities’ ability to handle such a disaster and aims to be used for preparedness.

Researchers named the weather event “ARkStorm,” after the atmospheric rivers that draw warm, moist air from the Pacific Ocean and turn that moisture into rain and snow when it reaches the West Coast.

Scientists believe a series of atmospheric rivers were behind the storms of 1861-62, the largest and longest storms in California’s recorded history. Geologic evidence of past floods indicate even bigger storms struck the state long before European settlers arrived.

But with infrastructure development and a population that has grown to 37 million, many of whom live on floodplains and hillsides, a big storm could cause massive destruction to the state.

“There’s just more of us living in more precarious locations, and the risk is just higher,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory who was not involved in the USGS project.

He noted that population and infrastructure density as well as “riskier land use” exacerbated the deadly flooding and mudslides happening in Australia and Brazil.

According to the scenario, heavy rain could cause flooding in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and 50 levees could be breached. Some 1.5 million residents in inland and delta regions would be forced to evacuate.

The report details the extent of potential devastation to crops and livestock in the state’s farmlands and estimates the cost to replace them. It also considers high surf damage and erosion to the sensitive coastline, as well as the perils of debris flow and flooding to California’s roads, bridges, dams and wastewater treatment facilities.

In all, researchers estimated the losses and damages by a catastrophic storm could cost on the order of $725 billion, nearly three times the cost of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hitting Southern California.

In May 2008, the USGS released a report playing out such a temblor. It became the basis for an earthquake drill billed as the largest in U.S. history, aimed at testing the preparedness of governments, emergency responders and residents.

Patzert said the report highlights the importance of being prepared.

He pointed out that an unusually wet December dumped 10 inches of rain in Los Angeles — the same amount that flooded the city in 1938 and led to the paving of the Los Angeles River. He said putting in flood control helped the city to withstand the recent storm.

“You learn lessons and you prepare for the next one,” Patzert said. “What could have been the great flood of 2010 turned out to be nothing more than a great photo opp.”

Comments

One Comment

  1. Beatrizzz says:

    LIES!!!! Watchout! Your home insurance rates are about to SKYROCKET!!!

    1. Otto Noe says:

      FEMA has just reported that if a gigantic meteorite were to strike California, the impact would be very flipping expensive. Furthermore, they have said the damage could be so significant that Reno would be a seaport. Get ready to bend over, because the US Government is going to sell FFF+ Bonds to cover the risk, and everyone will be required to use 50% of their Gross Income to buy them. The Rothschilds and Rockefellers will have the first draft of what the Bonds will look like, as soon as David De Rothschild (aka “Antichrist”) finishes growing GMO carrots on his Organic Garden in New Zealand.

  2. Marie says:

    People, we live in a very large valley and we have covered lots of it in asphalt and concrete. Water doesn’t have a chance to be absorbed. We have been irresponsible stewards of the land. Yes, I major 45-day storm could devastate our state and we didn’t need a study to tell us that. The Sacramento Valley is at greater risk that New Orleans!!!

    1. dave200042 says:

      New Orleans is in far more danger that the Sacramento Valley. It sits next to the Gulf of Mexico, and the Hurricanes that huge and warm body of water generates will devestate NO much more often than winter storms will here in Sacramento

      That is not to say that the Sacramento Valley isn’t going to be hit! It will be, just not as often (maybe every twenty years) with that kind of intensity.

      Other factors like the damn projects of the 1930’s, make the SV even less prone to floods.

  3. mike s says:

    besides read the bible …it rained for 40days and nights and flooded the whole earth ,whats the plan for that

    1. dave200042 says:

      When the Bible was written, the whole Earth amounted to the Hollyland and a little bit of Africa, Asia and Europe.

      So, the plan is: let major economic political resources like the USA, the European Union, Russia and China throw in aid and supplies.

    2. Andy says:

      Ummm, no? The bible said it rained for 40 days and nights but that didn’t flood the WHOLE EARTH? The earth OPENED UP and waters from INSIDE the earth had risen causing the great flood. THEN it rained for 40 days and nights. Noah was on his boat for 8 months to a year before the waters receded. The rain was more than likely from the evaporation of all the new water, and the earth opening up coincides with the expanding earth theory. Google “expanding earth theory” and read the bible.

  4. Jerry Brown says:

    And we will still be in a drought!!

    1. dave200042 says:

      WE only see it as a drought because we have far too many people living in areas of little water availability.

      Had the settlers taken a good look at the present LA region, they’d have noticed that water was a problem. They should have moved on.

      They didn’t even listen when the Indains living there told them not to build spanish style and European style houses of morter and /or wood construction.
      Those Indians used the term: “Shakey Ground,” over and over and over.

      “Huh,” said the pioneers, jumping up and down and making rude comments about silly Indians. “Feels solid to me.”

      After the first earth Quakes the STUPID white settlers begun to get the point.

      But, they were already committed to that location, and more and more came.

      Too bad we can’t get rid of everything south of the Grape Vine and just pretend it was never there, to say nothing of cutting off those who foolishly built their lives in an earthquake and zero water resource zone, and forget about them. Certainly stop sending water to a population that mentally slow.

  5. mike s says:

    As if we dont have enough “experts” preaching gloom and doom . how about this instead, think of ways to make life better he is my 1st suggestion : stop paying idiots like these to do studies like these . its probably just the insurance companies looking to raise flood insurance issues again

  6. Spike Murdock says:

    And if everyone in California ate nothing but beans for 45 days, we’d all die of Rectane poisoning! Why doesn’t somebody study that?

  7. spaman says:

    And what did it cost to have 117 researchers come to this conclusion?

    1. dave200042 says:

      Incredibly more than they are worth, “spaman.”

      HOwever, equally useless politicians only listen to so0called experts, because that gives politicians someone to blame when all the expert advise is wrong. But, guess who takes the credit when the advice is correct.

  8. HOBO BRET says:

    After knowing people who lost their lives in la conchita. Having neighbors lose all their belongings in a seperate mudslide in Ventura; I would like everyone to know that the cable company still made them pay for their original 1980’s model cable box. So if this Super storm ever happens make sure you save your cable box.
    A guy with a Satellite Dish.

  9. Elum says:

    happy new year to the reader of my blog:The problem would not be the flood, it would be the people hoping to make money from the problem.. with ships on stand-by waiting to rescue peolpe for free…. stocked with what maybe needed
    the things that count would be saved( the people )we can always rebuild from any problem…..we make money with paper ,,, I mean really!!!!!

  10. dave200042 says:

    Maybe you didn’t know this, Elum, but the MAJOR resources that save the most victims of disasters are the militaries of the medium to major powers of the world.

    If those armed services, in all countries, weren’t training for war and getting ready to move troops and equipment regionally and/or worldwide, there wouldn’t be any kind of “first response” available in sufficient quantiy to help in the huge situations that hit regions of the world.

    Yet, so many countries won’t let the military of other nations, perhaps aligned with enemy countries, aid in relieving those stricken with natural disasters.

    And, the International Red Cross is so much less able to quickly move resources, and establish control of the population, than is the armed service of Russia, China and the USA.

    The military of each power is also far better able to to conduct medical procedures than is any other institution on the face of the Earth, when the “egg” has already gone through the fan.

    So, what are those learers of stricken nations thinking? Maybe some of them just don’t ever think!

  11. dave200042 says:

    Maybe you didn’t know this, Elum, but the MAJOR resources that save the most victims of disasters are the militaries of the medium to major powers of the world.

    If those armed services, in all countries, weren’t training for war and getting ready to move troops and equipment regionally and/or worldwide, there wouldn’t be any kind of “first response” available in sufficient quantiy to help in the huge situations that hit regions of the world.

    Yet, so many countries won’t let the military of other nations, perhaps aligned with enemy countries, aid in relieving those stricken with natural disasters.

    And, the International Red Cross is so much less able to quickly move resources, and establish control of the population, than is the armed service of Russia, China and the USA.

    The military of each power is also far better able to to conduct medical procedures than is any other institution on the face of the Earth, when the “egg” has already gone through the fan.

    So, what are those leaders of stricken nations sometimes thinking? Maybe some of them just don’t ever think!

  12. mike s says:

    Andy you need to re read the bible it does say that God caused the fountains of the great deep to open AND (not then) it rained for forty days and nights how he did it is not the issue .It is that he alone not man controls what happens here . When God decides its time for the judgment day he will put an end to mankind as we know it how it happens will then not be the issue either,so i choose to put my faith in him .Andy my friend we can argue the Bible forever and never agree but you are as am I entitled to believe as we wish SO GO WITH WHATEVER FLOATS YOUR BOAT…LOL forgive the punn

  13. mike s says:

    Also Andy please consider the following:Again, it is difficult to see how some can claim that the Flood of Noah was local and not global. Why work building a great boat for 120 years preparing for a local flood? Why not simply climb the highest mountain or move to a different valley? Similarly, God promised he would never again destroy the earth in a flood like this one, yet great local floods have ravaged the earth down through the ages, killing millions. The Flood of Noah is clearly unique, it was one of a kind. The Hebrew word mabbul is used only in describing the Flood of Noah in the Old Testament. When the Old Testament was translated into Greek, the word kataklusmos was used in the Septuagint (LXX) in place of mabbul. This is the same word the Apostle Peter used

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