California's El Niño storms: worse than wildfires?

California is being slammed by an El Niño storm train packing heavy rains and mountain snow that could generate massive flooding that could be more dangerous than wildfires. 

Like rail freight cars slowly moving down a track at increasing speed, AccuWeather is forecasting that over five days, California will receive two to five-inch rainfall across lowlands and at least three feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

California suffered about 9,000 fires wildfires in 2017 and in 2018, which was somewhat below the state’s average. But the 1.5 million acres and 10,000 structures that were destroyed each year was substantially above prior periods. With a record $14 billion of California wildfire insurance losses recorded in 2017, catastrophe modeler Risk Management Solutions estimates 2018 wildfire insurance losses of another $13 billion

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a 90 percent chance of an El Niño cyclical condition this Winter and 60 percent risk for Spring. Known for torrential rains and mass flooding, a 2016 January and February El Niño storm train, destroyed 22,500 structures and caused the worst beach erosion in 145 years.

California uses disinformation and every sleight-of-hand trick to justify drastically underfunding infrastructure spending to prevent a state insolvency. Despite horrific El Nino flooding in 2016, it is still California state policy that climate-change models unanimously project a growing risk of “mega-droughts” lasting for decades.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) awards California its booby prize as the worst state in the nation with $65 billion infrastructure investment deficit involving dams, waterways, airports, roads, bridges, seaports, and tunnel maintenance.

Despite ASCE’s “Infrastructure Report Card” awarding a “D” grade in 2013 for levees and flood control as California’s most neglected sector, the state failed to raise spending on dams. California did convince voters in 2014 to approve a $7.5 billion water bond that was advertised as funding five major dams. But this writer warned that Prop 1 was a “bait and switch” ruse to siphon off 75 percent of the proceeds for fish ecosystems.

When a similar El Nino storm train slammed into California in early 2017 and washed-away the 800-foot high Oroville Dam spillway, 220,000 people had to evacuate over the risk of imminent death from the collapse of America’s largest earthen dam. The 584-page Federal analysis of the near disaster found the state’s 1960s structure was poorly designed and that public risks were “exacerbated by inadequate repairs”

A Pacific Ocean high pressure ridge delayed the storm train from coming on shore, but AccuWeather is now warning that damage in Northern California from the low pressure storm system will be magnified by strong winds with frequent 40-60 mph gusts. As the storm saturates the ground, surging winds could increase risk of broad power outages.

California has been able to transfer much of the costs from its failure to build infrastructure onto American taxpayers by convincing presidents to declare damage the result of reimbursable national disasters. But President Trump threatened in November, at the height of the latest wildfires, to pull billions of dollars of federal payments if nothing is done by California to "remedy" the “gross mismanagement of the forests.”

Although the President eventually relented and declared California wildfires a national disaster, Trump shined a light on the fact that the federal government provides about 36 percent of State of all California spending, or over $100 billion in 2018.

California is being slammed by an El Niño storm train packing heavy rains and mountain snow that could generate massive flooding that could be more dangerous than wildfires. 

Like rail freight cars slowly moving down a track at increasing speed, AccuWeather is forecasting that over five days, California will receive two to five-inch rainfall across lowlands and at least three feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

California suffered about 9,000 fires wildfires in 2017 and in 2018, which was somewhat below the state’s average. But the 1.5 million acres and 10,000 structures that were destroyed each year was substantially above prior periods. With a record $14 billion of California wildfire insurance losses recorded in 2017, catastrophe modeler Risk Management Solutions estimates 2018 wildfire insurance losses of another $13 billion

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting a 90 percent chance of an El Niño cyclical condition this Winter and 60 percent risk for Spring. Known for torrential rains and mass flooding, a 2016 January and February El Niño storm train, destroyed 22,500 structures and caused the worst beach erosion in 145 years.

California uses disinformation and every sleight-of-hand trick to justify drastically underfunding infrastructure spending to prevent a state insolvency. Despite horrific El Nino flooding in 2016, it is still California state policy that climate-change models unanimously project a growing risk of “mega-droughts” lasting for decades.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) awards California its booby prize as the worst state in the nation with $65 billion infrastructure investment deficit involving dams, waterways, airports, roads, bridges, seaports, and tunnel maintenance.

Despite ASCE’s “Infrastructure Report Card” awarding a “D” grade in 2013 for levees and flood control as California’s most neglected sector, the state failed to raise spending on dams. California did convince voters in 2014 to approve a $7.5 billion water bond that was advertised as funding five major dams. But this writer warned that Prop 1 was a “bait and switch” ruse to siphon off 75 percent of the proceeds for fish ecosystems.

When a similar El Nino storm train slammed into California in early 2017 and washed-away the 800-foot high Oroville Dam spillway, 220,000 people had to evacuate over the risk of imminent death from the collapse of America’s largest earthen dam. The 584-page Federal analysis of the near disaster found the state’s 1960s structure was poorly designed and that public risks were “exacerbated by inadequate repairs”

A Pacific Ocean high pressure ridge delayed the storm train from coming on shore, but AccuWeather is now warning that damage in Northern California from the low pressure storm system will be magnified by strong winds with frequent 40-60 mph gusts. As the storm saturates the ground, surging winds could increase risk of broad power outages.

California has been able to transfer much of the costs from its failure to build infrastructure onto American taxpayers by convincing presidents to declare damage the result of reimbursable national disasters. But President Trump threatened in November, at the height of the latest wildfires, to pull billions of dollars of federal payments if nothing is done by California to "remedy" the “gross mismanagement of the forests.”

Although the President eventually relented and declared California wildfires a national disaster, Trump shined a light on the fact that the federal government provides about 36 percent of State of all California spending, or over $100 billion in 2018.