How California is preparing for a future full of extreme weather

PBS –

Two straight months of heavy rainfall have effectively ended five straight years of drought in California. But with parts of the state reporting more than 100 inches of precipitation since last fall, the rain activity has also caused floods, road closures, infrastructure damage and evacuations in many areas.

As a result of the unpredictable nature of California’s climate, state officials have begun to prepare for what they expect to be continued extreme weather conditions. The Climate Prediction Center predicts lingering drought conditions will persist in parts of Southern California through June even after what it called a “phenomenal wet season.” State officials also expect variable weather patterns to continue in the future, which could extend droughts, increase flood risks and threaten the sustainability of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

In an effort to address the immediate effects of the storms, Gov. Brown announced last month that the state would invest $437 million in flood control and emergency response actions.

“These recent storms have had a real impact,” California Gov. Jerry Brown told CNN. “We’ve got dam spillways eroding, we’ve got roads crumbling, we have our aging infrastructure that’s maxed out.”

Read more