California is going through a rough patch — yesterday I posted about some of the wildfires burning in the northern part of the state, some under control, others still growing, and the scenario doesn’t look promising. We seem to have multiple personalities — dry and tender in the north, wet and crazy in the south.
Way-heavy rains tore the shit out of San Bernardino County, east of LA, causing mudslides and trapping people in a ‘dead-end slot canyon.’
San Bernardino Fire Capt. Kyle Hauducoeur: “Try to imagine the bands of rains from a hurricane — that’s what we’re getting. The difference (is) it’s hitting mountains. What was a dry river bed could become a river 6 feet deep, 20 feet wide.”
(Illustration: Salvador Dali’s ‘The Giants,’ found here).
Meteorologists forecast heavy rains for the weekend across the southern cusp of the state, and the result was even worse, and in this particular time frame, help has been dispatched away.
Wildfires are calling:
San Bernardino County resources were stretched thin by the storm. Scores of swift-water rescue teams and fire engines had been dispatched to far-flung areas, county Fire Capt. Josh Wilkins told the Los Angeles Times.
“Every rescue unit we have, every fire engine we have in San Bernardino County” had been sent out, Wilkins said.
“We are literally approaching the maximum right now in terms of our call volume.”
In the Mt. Baldy area, debris flows were heading toward homes.
Creeks swelled into rivers, submerging cars, Wilkins said.
Authorities issued an order telling residents to shelter in place.
One group rescued by emergency crews had been trapped in a home that was threatened by flooding and moving debris.
In the Angeles National Forest, a group of four or five people and a dog were airlifted to safety.
A U.S. Forest Service spokesman told KNBC-TV some campers had seconds to evacuate before a torrent of water washed their tents and belongings.
“It sounded like a freight train coming through,” Robert Ethridge said.
Monsoonal moisture brought brief but fierce storms to mountain, desert and inland areas. In and around Palm Springs, knee-deep water flooded city streets and stranded vehicles. In the city of Redlands, the storm downed a tree and knocked out power to a few neighbourhoods.
The downpour dumped as much as nine centimetres of rain on Forest Falls, and nearly 13 centimetres of rain on Mount Baldy, the U.S. National Weather Service said.
Authorities said crews were assessing the extent of damages caused by the storms.
Meanwhile, up north dry as a naked bone. Fire crews are fighting a double blaze in the northeast corner, fires that has already destroyed eight homes, and caused the evacuation of a small, hospital annex for patients with dementia and other long-term conditions. The patients were moved to a facility in Redding, about 55 miles away.
In that post yesterday, I mentioned the Lodge Lightning Complex fire burning near the home of a good friend of mine down in Mendocino County, just north of Laytonville — horror of horrors, the Cal Fire info indicated another 500 acres have been burned just overnight.
I’ll call my friend this morning — shit on a dry-tender stick.
(Illustration out front found here).