California Mudslides: A Preview of El Niño Weather?

water-815271_1920Californians are beginning to see what the effects of El Niño may look like. According to several news sources, the torrential downpours the Los Angeles area experienced on Thursday resulted in flash flooding and mudslides, closing the Interstate 5 and forcing countless drivers to spend the night stranded.

To experts, this gives locals a small taste of what may happen once winter is here.

In the region, the low pressure system lingering over the Southwest may have helped the thunderstorms and torrential downpours by bubbling up, weather experts say. According to the National Weather Service, the rain falling on the drought-stricken land made flash flooding a possibility, increasing the threat to drivers all across the state.

To drivers in California, learning about the potential risks in the upcoming months could help to save their lives.

In a mountainous stretch of I-5, drivers ended up stranded due to the mudslides that swept parts of northern Los Angeles County and the Grapevine.

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During rescue efforts, helicopters were sent to the scene to reach drivers, passengers and even their dogs. In an area near Elizabeth Lake, mud surrounded several homes. As mud flowed and built up, bulldozers were called in to plow the mud on the highway.Authorities claim that the road clean up had to continue through Friday morning, but officials haven’t reported on when the road will be reopened.

Until winter, it might not be possible to predict what the consequences of El Niño will be. Until then, Californians, especially drivers, should stay alert to weather reports. Currently, drivers trying to make their way up north are having a hard time finding a different route. At least 200 vehicles on California 58 were swallowed by mudslides earlier. If more rainfalls occur in the near future, drivers should keep these incidents in mind before they hit the road.

In order to prevent additional accidents, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is working hard to ensure that the regions affected by wildfire are not being directly impacted.Removing burned material from the roads and homes will help to keep burn scars from serving as speed bumpers to water rolling downhill when it rains.

Until winter is gone and the effects of El Niño are not as evident, drivers should keep in mind that they too are responsible for their own safety.

If you have to hit the road just before a major storm, make sure to check if your route could be impacted by the same problem that impacted I-5 commuters.

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