Mass Evacuations in California

January 10, 2023

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Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management ordering an immediate evacuation for Montecito, California and surrounding areas as heavy rainfall continues to cause flooding and threats of further mudslides. Large portions of the state are experiencing severe conditions amidst back-to-back storms.

Big Picture: At least 17 regions in California are experiencing torrential downpours that have caused rockslides, mudslides, and major flooding, and millions of people are under flood warnings across the state. More than 140,000 people in CA were estimated to be without power as of Tuesday afternoon. Since severe storms began hitting California in late December, at least 15 people have died, according to state officials.

  • The evacuation order for Montecito came “on the fifth anniversary of a mudslide that killed 23 people and destroyed more than 100 homes” in the area, The Associated Press reports.
  • The current severe weather in California is due to another “atmospheric river” that has hit the state; an atmospheric river occurs when a column of water vapor develops in a river-like manner in the sky. Atmospheric rivers can carry huge amounts of water vapor which is released in the form of rain or snow once it reaches land. President Biden declared a state of emergency for 17 California counties on Monday to help with storm response and relief efforts.

Storm slams county — again (Santa Barbara News-Press)

Flood, mudslide threats prompt evacuations along California coast (Reuters)

by Jenna Lee,