Weather Wreaks Havoc on California Facilities

Facilities statewide are coping with severe winter storms, flooding, landslides and mudslides.   March 17, 2023

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor

California is facing an array of climate-related crises as institutional and commercial facilities statewide cope with severe winter snowstorms, flooding, landslides and mudslides. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state to supplement state, tribal and local response efforts due to emergency conditions.  

The action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts to alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population and to provide appropriate assistance to save lives, protect property and safety and to lessen or avert the threat of catastrophe. 

The crisis shows signs of easing. After back-to-back winter storms overwhelmed many of California’s mountain communities with snow, another round of snowfall is headed to the Sierra Nevada region, according to CNN. The state’s hard-hit southern San Bernardino County will get a reprieve as some residents who remain trapped by walls of snow are concerned about their dwindling supplies. 

The Sierra Nevada mountain range could see more snow following a weekend that brought as much as 38 inches of snow over a 24-hour period to Soda Springs in Nevada County and 31 inches to Donner Peak in Placer County. The heavy weekend snowfall combined with high wind gusts have prompted avalanche warnings across parts of the central and southern Sierra Nevada through Monday. 

Several rounds of snow have pummeled the region in recent days, prompting Yosemite National Park to close indefinitely. The park said it has received up to 15 feet of snowfall in some areas. Further south in San Bernardino County, where emergency crews have been working to reach communities immobilized by heavy snow, mountainous areas might only see light snow showers. 

Dan Hounsell is senior editor of the facilities market. He has more than 30 years of experience writing about facilities maintenance, engineering and management. 


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