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Why The California Mudslides Have Been So Deadly

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were reluctant to pack up and go again when they received a flood warning. Some lost their homes, others their lives, as a result.’ data-reactid=”19″>Some Santa Barbara and Ventura county residents who had just returned to their homes after evacuating in December from the Thomas fire were reluctant to pack up and go again when they received a flood warning. Some lost their homes, others their lives, as a result.

are connected.’ data-reactid=”23″>But given the torrential rains that were predicted, a devastating disaster was almost inevitable. It’s no secret that drought, wildfires and mudslides ― all three of which California has witnessed of late ― are connected.

over 280,000 acres in Southern California in December, leaving the land scorched and flood-prone. Vegetation whose root systems might have held back the mudflow was destroyed, and the stage was set for deadly and fast-moving mudslides as Southern California was deluged with heavy rainfall.’ data-reactid=”25″>The Thomas fire burned through over 280,000 acres in Southern California in December, leaving the land scorched and flood-prone. Vegetation whose root systems might have held back the mudflow was destroyed, and the stage was set for deadly and fast-moving mudslides as Southern California was deluged with heavy rainfall.

Aware of these environmental trends, officials warned about the potential of mudslides on local government websites and social media, as well as in news outlets and community emails.

has been under scrutiny since the October wildfire disaster in Northern California, which left more than 40 people dead. Officials in Sonoma County — where over half of the fatalities occurred — had decided not to deploy the federal Wireless Emergency Alert system, and some survivors of the 21 blazes later said they were inadequately warned.’ data-reactid=”29″>The state’s emergency alert protocol has been under scrutiny since the October wildfire disaster in Northern California, which left more than 40 people dead. Officials in Sonoma County — where over half of the fatalities occurred — had decided not to deploy the federal Wireless Emergency Alert system, and some survivors of the 21 blazes later said they were inadequately warned.

told the Associated Press.’ data-reactid=”34″>“There was evacuation fatigue from the fire,” local resident Marco Farrell told the Associated Press.

Farrell and his parents had evacuated for more than a week during the fire, and decided not to leave again when a voluntary evacuation notice was issued for their neighborhood. In retrospect, he told AP, he wished they had.


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