California: A Case For Weather Disaster

Meteorologists had their hands full this past spring.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Wednesday, Jul 27, 2011  |  Updated 10:28 AM PDT
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California: A Case For Weather Disaster

Caltrans

This is one of the things that happened this spring. Highway One fell into the ocean north of Big Sur.

The California Emergency Management Agency put together a compelling video that outlines the totality of the devastation from this years' spring storms on the state.

The nine minute video looks at the statewide picture, but the "best of" weather damage images come from Northern California. It starts with the massive rock slide that cut off homes in Scotts Valley. It fades to the rock slide along Highway 1 in Big Sur and finally shows the floods in Capitola.

A Santa Cruz County official said it was the worst storm season in the past 20 years.

Meteorologists explain that the state was already soaked in March when a trough of low  pressure "parked itself" off the coast. The meteorological system formed a series of atmospheric rivers to take direct aim at California, which experts said was very unusual. The rivers were described as a fire hose of water that kept aim at the state, sometimes the water would pour to the north and then it would turn to the south, but it was always a downpour.

Cal CEM puts the total damage estimates from the storms at more than $50 million. The video subtly bemoans the fact that FEMA denied Gov. Jerry Brown's request to declare the communities most affected, as disaster areas.

The documentary is the story of how it happened and what's next for the disaster prone state.
 

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