California Bishops Pray for Rain

Catholic bishops are asking for divine intervention as California endures what appears to be its third straight dry winter.

The California Conference of Catholic Bishops on Tuesday called on people of all faiths to join in prayers for rain.

San Francisco and Los Angeles are the driest they've been in 100 years, according to Bill Croyle, a state drought manager.

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"If it continues in the same manner in January and February, we're going to be very worried," Croyle said.

Reservoirs are at historic lows after the state completed one of the driest calendar years on record. Some cities already are restricting water use, while prospects for another dry summer have raised alarm about agriculture and wildfires.

Folsom Lake, the only source of water for Folsom City, Calif., is in a major drought. When officials measured on Dec. 23, the water only reached up to 22 percent of its capacity. City officials say that this is the second year in a row that Folsom Lake has faced a drought.

“Folsom Lake, our primary water source, is now at 22 percent capacity, a near record low,” Folsom City Manager Evert Palmer said. “This low water level, combined with critically dry weather conditions, necessitates immediate action to conserve water and protect our water supply.”

Sacramento Bishop Jaime Soto, president of the bishops' conference, suggested a prayer for God to "open the heavens and let His mercy rain down upon our fields and mountains.''

The National Weather Service says a strong high pressure system is preventing Pacific storms from moving across California. Little precipitation is expected before late January.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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