LA Mayor Declares State of Emergency as Pacific Storm Floods Streets, Prompting Federal Aid Pledge from President Biden

Chaos Unleashed by Second ‘Pineapple Express’ Storm

A deadly Pacific storm, identified as the second ‘Pineapple Express’ within a week, wreaked havoc on Southern California, triggering severe flooding and over 120 mudslides.

The weather system intensified as it moved south, delivering hurricane-force winds to Northern California before unleashing torrential rain in Los Angeles.

Lives Lost and Dramatic Rescues

The relentless storm claimed at least three lives, with two fatalities attributed to wind-toppled trees.

Emergency services, facing the formidable task of saving lives across the state, conducted dramatic rescues, including an LA Fire Department helicopter operation to save an individual attempting to rescue his dog from the raging LA River.

State of Emergency Declared

Amidst the unfolding crisis, LA Mayor Karen Bass declared a state of emergency as flooding engulfed the city.

President Joe Biden pledged federal aid to support the areas severely impacted by the storm, emphasizing the urgent need for assistance in the face of extensive damage.

Luxury Homes and Celebrity Mansions at Risk

Even Hollywood A-listers faced the brunt of the storm, with houses in the Hollywood Hills and Beverly Hills threatened by both flooding and mudslides.

High-profile celebrities, including George Clooney, Lady Gaga, and Halle Berry, witnessed their multimillion-dollar homes at risk as mud and boulders cascaded down hillsides.

Evacuations and Concerns for Homeless Population

With evacuation orders in effect for high-risk neighborhoods, concerns mounted for the large homeless population in the region.

Encampments along the LA River became particularly vulnerable, prompting swift-water rescue teams to patrol the area.

LA Mayor Bass emphasized ongoing evacuations for the homeless population to ensure their safety.

Property Damage and Response Efforts

Despite the record precipitation levels, the overall property damage appeared less severe than anticipated, thanks to last summer’s mild wildfire season.

Reports indicated 120 mudslides and debris flows throughout Los Angeles, primarily impacting luxury homes and upscale communities in the Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills, and Topanga Canyon.

Widespread Flooding and Power Outages

The storm, characterized by an atmospheric river, brought staggering rainfall amounts, leading to widespread flooding and flash-flood threats.

Hurricane-force gusts of wind downed trees and utility lines, resulting in power outages for approximately 875,000 homes.

With extreme weather advisories in place, authorities urged the 35 million residents across California and southwestern Arizona to limit unnecessary travel.

Weather System Overview and Meteorological Insights

Meteorologists highlighted the storm’s intensity, with nearly a foot of rain measured in a 24-hour period at the University of California-Los Angeles.

The atmospheric river, contributing to heavy snowfall in California’s mountains, posed significant challenges.

While catastrophic impacts were deemed unlikely, the region faced serious and severe flooding, emphasizing the need for caution and safety measures.

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