Pineapple express' storm wallops California

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Pineapple express' storm wallops California
'Pineapple express' storm wallops California

March 11 2023, by Huw GRIFFITH

Torrential rains last month caused landslides, with fears that new rains from a
'Pineapple express' would create more havoc.

Dozens of evacuation orders were in place Friday as a powerful
atmospheric river, known as a "Pineapple express," surged into an
already-sodden California, sparking warnings of widespread flash

Pineapple express' storm wallops California
Up to nine inches (23 centimeters) of rain were expected in some parts
of the state, with several feet of heavy, wet snow falling over mountains
where a huge snowpack has built up over months of near-record storms.

Forecasters said the Pineapple Express—so called because it is bringing
warm, subtropical moisture from Hawaii—could cause some of that
monster snowpack to melt, overwhelming river systems.

"Rainfall totals of 4-9 inches, atop areas with saturated soil and deep
snowpack will cause widespread and severe flooding impacts," the
National Weather Service (NWS) warned.

"Higher elevations in northern California and the Sierras will receive a
heavy, wet snow leading to difficult travel."

US President Joe Biden on Friday approved an emergency declaration
for the state, clearing the way for federal assistance to help local

The move came after a request from California Governor Gavin
Newsom, who said he was mobilizing resources to help anyone in need.

"California is deploying every tool we have to protect communities from
the relentless and deadly storms battering our state," Newsom said.

The bulk of evacuation orders affect northern California, with seven
rivers expected to burst their banks.

Pineapple express' storm wallops California
Mountains around Los Angeles have seen heavy snowfall in recent weeks -- and
more is on the way.

Many of them flooded at the start of the year as a daisy chain of
atmospheric rivers dumped massive rain on the state.

More than 20 people died as back-to-back storms washed out
communities, bringing down trees and causing landslides—and
emergency services now are worried the fresh storms could cause more

'Stay at home'

San Mateo County Sheriff said two people whose car was crushed by a
falling tree in Redwood City were expected to be okay.

Pineapple express' storm wallops California
"Stay home tonight if you can, folks," the sheriff's office tweeted,
alongside a photo of the mangled car.

"If you must drive in the storm, deputies are here for you, day or night."

The Sierra Nevada mountain range has been buried in unusually heavy
snow for weeks.

As more moved in on Friday, a number of ski resorts shut their gates,
citing weather worries.

In South Lake Tahoe, the weight of the accumulated snow brought down
the roof of a gas station, sparking a fire, the San Francisco Chronicle

Rain, man. Oscars organizers were putting out buckets to catch the drips on the
red carpet.

Local fire marshal Kim George said crews had responded to similar calls
over the last few days.

"No one has been hurt in any of these incidents, which is remarkable,"
the Chronicle quoted her as saying.

In the San Bernardino Mountains, in the south of the state, most
communities have dug out after days or even weeks of being cut off.

But local sheriffs said one man appeared to have taken things a bit far
when he stole a municipal snowplow.

The suspect, named by law enforcement in Big Bear as Jonathan
Hernandez, allegedly drove off with the vehicle on March 4.

He didn't manage to cover his tracks all that well, though—the plow had
a GPS device and when officers followed the signal they found the
stolen vehicle with Hernandez still sitting inside.

Organizers of the Oscars were contending with rather un-Hollywood-like
weather as they installed the huge, tented red carpet ahead of this
Sunday's awards show.

Buckets were placed along the walkway to catch rain dripping through
cracks and threatening to dampen life-size statuettes.

© 2023 AFP

Citation: 'Pineapple express' storm wallops California (2023, March 11) retrieved 9 May 2024

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