The US state of California is struggling with heavy rain, flooding and mudslides. The celebrity city of Montecito is also affected.
The US state of California has been suffering from severe winter storms with heavy rain, strong winds and flooding for the past three weeks. The storm has killed 14 people since the end of December, said Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday evening (local time).
That’s more deaths than all the forest fires in the past two years combined. “Be extremely vigilant!” he warned the Californians. There were still several days of severe winter weather ahead.
Severe storms in California
The forest fires of the warmer seasons have destroyed the plant cover in many places in the most populous state in the USA. The authorities warned that there was an acute risk of flash floods and mudslides in these areas. Evacuations were ordered in several regions on Monday. Many streams and rivers have burst their banks, some roads are impassable.
Among other things, the area around the coastal city of Santa Barbara is affected, where there are also fears of avalanches, according to the authorities.
The small town of Montecito, one of the wealthiest communities in the United States and home to various celebrities such as Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, is also in the danger zone. TV presenter Ellen DeGeneres also lives there. On Monday she reported on Instagram that Montecito was being evacuated. Around 25,000 people were evacuated across the state.
Almost exactly five years ago, devastating debris flows occurred in Montecito after a similar storm. In January 2018, 23 people died as a result. At that time, too, the authorities located a cause in the mountain slopes left bare by forest fires.