California braces for ‘parade’ of storms that will bring heavy rain, wind and mudslides that could be like a ‘flood on steroids’ as the wildfire death toll rises to 84 and 899 remain missing

Wednesday, November 21, 2018
By Paul Martin

The first of a series of storms will batter California on Tuesday afternoon, bringing up to four inches of rain
The soaking will not only hamper search efforts for people who are still missing but it’ll likely cause mudslides
Because there is so much debris, the rains could cause a mudslide that will be like a ‘flood on steroids’
The death toll in Paradise is now 81 and three people died near Los Angeles in the Woolsey Fire
The number of people who are still missing in Paradise rose again to 899 as police worked through voicemail backlogs
Thousands of people are in shelters and some are sleeping in their cars as a result of the storms
The fires will at least help extinguish the fires which are still burning in part

21 November 2018

California is bracing for what meteorologists are calling a ‘parade’ of wet weather storms that could cause dangerous mudslides in the areas which were torched by the wildfires.

On Wednesday afternoon, the first of the storms will rush across the state, bringing up to four inches of rain in Paradise, the town which was entirely razed by the Camp fire earlier this month.

It will finally bring fire season to an end and will play a part in extinguishing the last of the fire which, as of Tuesday night, was 75 per cent contained.

It will also pose fresh danger to the area by triggering mudslides that could be like a ‘flood on steroids’ because there is so much debris in the area.

The number of people confirmed dead rose in Paradise to 81 on Tuesday as emergency teams recovered two more bodies.

It brings the death toll across the entire state to 84 people. The number of people missing also rose again on Tuesday night to 899 remain missing as detectives in Paradise were able to work through a backlog of voicemails from the worried relatives of people who remain unaccounted for.

The rain will slow down search efforts in Paradise and will also wreak havoc on evacuees who are living in shelters and in their cars.

The fire also creates a hard, waxy surface that tends to repel rather than absorb water.

The result can be heavy runoff of rainwater mixed with mud, boulders, trees and other debris that flows downhill with tremendous force, said Jason Kean, a research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey.

‘Those debris flows have the consistency of wet concrete and move faster than you can run,’ he said.

‘It’s like a flood on steroids … and a big one can take out two-story buildings.’

Butte County Sheriff Kery Honea, who said he is ‘overwhelmed’ with the situation on Monday, said he knew the list – which is ‘incomplete and raw’ – was not perfect but that he wanted to get information out to the public.

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