California sees record level flooding in times of dryness
Since record levels of rain were seen on December 31, 2022, floods have bombarded a vast number of cities and people across California, incurring as much as $31 billion in damages.
Cities like San Mateo, San Jose, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and many more have seen houses submerged in water and people unable to go outside, whereas in places like Lake Tahoe, city storms have caused large accumulations of snow, making it incredibly difficult to drive. Upwards of 20 people have died due to these recent storms and floods.
“I’m super relieved that me and my family were not affected by the storm, but I’m just worried for the future,” stated CVHS senior Zean Ylaya. As bad as flooding has become for many Californians, it is apparently only a glimpse of what is to come. According to Los Angeles Times, California has a natural cycle of giant floods, similar to those seen in the Central Valley in 1861 and 1862. Although the state has become more and more overdue for such a flood, the intensity of giant floods will be much greater due to climate change. Rather than collapsing roads and raising the water levels in towns, these intensified giant floods could turn California’s valleys into inland seas.
The recent flooding has pushed plans to be made to protect California from more dangerous floods. A recently approved plan has stated that $30 billion will be invested into our most flood-susceptible valley over the next 30 years.
“It’s really bad for what has happened to people, but at the very least the floods are good for the environment. I’m glad that mother nature is taking things into her own hands,” said Senior Daylen Berio. As reported by CalMatters, at one point, “71% of California was experiencing ‘severe’ drought… dropping to 46%” due to the floods. Although farmlands and cities have been flooded, the recent rainfall pulled a significant part of California out of severe drought.
As for whether or not these floods can be seen as beneficial to California in face of the damage it has caused, we will have to wait for what is to come.