Officials have revealed that the powerful storms pounding California have regrettably claimed the lives of at least nine individuals.
The relentless downpour, reminiscent of biblical proportions, shows no signs of relenting, with forecasts predicting continued impact until Friday. Tornado and hail warnings have been issued for several areas along the central coast, including Morro Bay and Los Osos.
The fatalities have been attributed to various causes, with four individuals succumbing to falling trees and three perishing in vehicle collisions in the Bay area.
Another fatality occurred as a vehicle was swept away in a flood channel, while one person lost their life attempting to cross the US-Mexico border via the Tijuana River.
Officials have issued stern warnings urging residents to remain vigilant. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass stressed the importance of preparedness, particularly highlighting the risks posed by saturated hillsides. “We cannot drop our guard,” Mayor Bass emphasized.
California’s Homeless Struggles
Meanwhile, amid the storm chaos, community organizers have criticized the City of Los Angeles for its handling of the homeless population, labeling the response as “abysmal” and accusing authorities of misinformation.
The relentless storms, fueled by a massive atmospheric river, have caused unprecedented rainfall in Southern California, leading to significant flooding and environmental hazards.
A staggering five million gallons of raw sewage have spilled into the Pacific Ocean due to the deluge, prompting the closure of recreational swimming areas as a precautionary measure.
In response to the crisis, additional shelters have been activated by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Association (LAHSA) to accommodate those experiencing homelessness.
However, concerns persist regarding the plight of the unhoused population, particularly in areas like the San Fernando Valley, where competition for limited resources remains fierce and heartbreaking.
As California braces for further impact from the ongoing storms, the resilience of communities and the efficacy of response measures will undoubtedly be put to the test in the days to come.