A strong winter storm is wreaking havoc on California, causing mass evacuations of Montecito and other areas of Southern California.
How many people are under flood watch in California?
Nearly 90% of California is under flood watch, Axios reported from data gathered from the National Weather Service. California is also seeing rainfall that is 400% to 600% above average, per the weather service.
At least 14 people have died from the storm, according to The Associated Press. The raining isn’t letting up, and some areas of Southern California could receive up to seven inches of rain on Tuesday, the weather service reported.
“This is not a day to be out doing anything you don’t have to,” Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told The Los Angeles Times.
What happened at the Los Angeles International Airport?
The Los Angeles International Airport called for a ground stop Monday night, limiting takeoffs and landings, due to the high winds.
“That usually happens at airports across the country, but we don’t often have a ground stop, mostly because Los Angeles has pretty good weather year round,” Victoria Spilabotte, a spokeswoman for the airport, told The New York Times. “So this type of storm is not typical for us.”
Montecito is in a particularly precarious position after suffering wildfires before in the summer, making “soils and vegetation less stable,” according to The New York Times.
Mudslides devastated the area in January 2018, killing 23 people and destroying 130 homes. However, because of the previous mudslide tragedy, officials are “hoping flood control improvements made in the wake of that event would help better protect communities this week,” The Los Angeles Times reported.