California Hit by Dangerous Mudslides After Torrential Storms

Katabella Roberts
By Katabella Roberts
January 18, 2023California
California Hit by Dangerous Mudslides After Torrential Storms
A truck tows a car that got stuck in the mud as a result of San Ysidro Creek overflowing due to heavy rainfall in the area in Montecito, Calif., on Jan. 10, 2023. (Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images)

The relentless stormy weather that has hit California in recent weeks has created dangerous conditions for residents, including mudslides that have blocked roads and prompted evacuations.

One mudslide in a Berkeley Hills neighborhood in Northern California on Monday morning saw a total of 14 people evacuated from their eight separate homes, Berkeleyside reported.

Marjorie Cruz, one of the residents whose home was partly damaged by the mudslide and was forced to evacuate, told local media: “You can’t describe what it’s like to wake up in the morning and look outside your door and see this horror come through. We’ve had enough rain for now and a long time to come. We get it.”

Berkeley fire officials also responded to a smaller mudslide near the UC Berkeley Clark Kerr Campus at Sports Lane, according to local reports. Another mudslide also occurred in the Berkeley-Oakland area on Monday, forcing road closures on Wildcat Canyon Road and Middlefield Road. No casualties were reported from any of the mudslides.

Authorities were working to clear the area on Monday and Tuesday.

NTD Photo
The Russian River, swollen with floodwater following a chain of winter storms, flows past the town of Guerneville, Calif., on Jan. 15, 2023. (Fred Greaves/Reuters)

Passenger Train Evacuated After Mudslide

Elsewhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, a commuter train with 200 passengers on board was evacuated Tuesday morning after a mudslide covered the tracks, officials said.

The Altamont Corridor Express train had been traveling west toward Pleasanton when it was forced to stop in Niles Canyon after the mudslide.

“At 8:40 AM, ACFD was dispatched to a mudslide that blocked railroad tracks to an ACE train heading westbound towards Pleasanton. Crews worked to evacuate 225 people off the tracks,” the Alameda Fire Department said on Twitter. “No injuries are reported at this time.”

Images shared on Twitter by the department showed that the train appeared not to have derailed or sustained notable damage.

Last week, residents of Montecito, a small town in Santa Barbara County located between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, were urged to evacuate as heavy rains threatened to bring more mudslides.

Those evacuations came on the five-year anniversary of another mudslide that hit the community in 2018, killing 23 people and completely destroying 130 homes.

California has been hit by extreme weather including heavy rain and snow in recent weeks that have prompted evacuation orders, school and road closures, and power outages.

A total of 20 people have been killed in weather-related incidents, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom, who on Monday signed an executive order to further bolster the emergency response to the severe weather that has impacted communities across the state.

In an aerial view, floodwaters cover an agricultural area after the Salinas River overflowed its banks in Salinas, Calif., on Jan. 13, 2023. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Authorities Still Searching for Missing Boy

Those killed include a pickup truck driver and a motorcyclist who died in the San Joaquin Valley when a tree that had been struck by lightning fell on them, and a 2-year-old child who was killed in the Sonoma County community of Occidental when a redwood tree fell on a home, authorities confirmed.

Meanwhile, authorities are still searching for 5-year-old Kyle Doan, who was swept away in floodwaters near Paso Robles in central coastal California on Jan. 9.

President Joe Biden has approved California’s request for a federal disaster declaration which makes federal funding available to assist recovery efforts in the counties of Merced, Sacramento, and Santa Cruz, which have been the hardest hit by the storms.

Biden is set to travel to California’s central coast on Thursday to visit areas that have been devastated by the extreme weather, The Associated Press reported.

According to the White House, Biden will visit with first responders and state and local officials after touching down in the state where they will discuss and assess recovery efforts as well as what additional federal support is needed.

While California has been offered some much-needed respite from the heavy rains, the wet weather of recent weeks has heavily saturated soil across the state, meaning they may be more prone to mudslides. Local and state emergency declarations remain in effect in Los Angeles County and dozens of other counties.

From The Epoch Times

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