LOS ANGELES: Intense rain, heavy snow and strong winds lashed California and southern Oregon on Friday, prompting the evacuation of more than a hundred homes threatened by mudslides near Los Angeles, officials said.
As much as 10 inches (25 cm) of rain could fall at a rate of 1 inch (3 cm) per hour in parts of Southern California on Friday, said the National Weather Service, raising the risk of mudslides.
The severe storm could bring California’s heaviest rainfall in six years, after months of wet weather that has dramatically eased California’s years-long drought. The heavy rain and melting snowpack threatened to undermine a spillway at one of the largest dams in the country, which prompted the evacuation of 188,000 residents earlier this week.
The city of Duarte, about 20 miles (32 km) east of Los Angeles, said it ordered residents of 180 homes to evacuate given the potential for mudslides.
A forest fire charred an area above their homes last year, prompting concerns that heavy rain could trigger mudslides where there is no vegetation.
Alberto Moreno, 34, piled sandbags outside his home on Friday after refusing to leave the area.
“The neighbours are here so we’re all basically going to help out each other if it comes down to it,” Moreno said.
Heather Malone, 44, another Duarte resident, said she was prepared to escape by car if she saw “half the mountain coming down” near her home.
The downpours in other heavily populated areas of Southern California, including parts of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties also recently hit by wildfires, could create the risk of mud and debris flows there too, the weather service said.
Authorities have warned residents of an area west of Santa Barbara, where another wildfire ravaged vegetation last year, to prepare to leave their homes quickly if ordered to evacuate.
Rain also battered parts of Northern California and southern Oregon and the weather service had flood warnings in effect in both regions on Friday afternoon.
In higher areas of eastern California and western Nevada, as much as 2 feet (60 cm) of snow could cause whiteouts, forecasters said.
Southwest Airlines Co said it had cancelled more than 250 flights in California, as the storm caused disruptions.
Airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other parts of California had dozens of cancelled or delayed flights, according to tracking website FlightAware.com.
The state of California is experiencing its worst drought in 100 years. According the NBC Channel 4 in Los Angeles, the governor declared a drought emergency just weeks before the recent rains of 2017. The station also reports that the governor has identified Mother Nature as the state’s adversary. Note this quote from Channel 4’s website:
“I’ve called for a collaborative effort to restrain our water use,” Brown said. “This is a call to arms. This is not a partisan adversary, this is Mother Nature.”
Doing battle with “Mother Nature” will lead to frustration. “Mother Nature” is not the adversary, God is. Rain falls at the pleasure of God and God alone. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5 that God sends rain upon the just and the unjust. Conversely, if rain does not fall, that is God’s doing as well. So a call to arms against “Mother Nature” is an exercise in futility because she does not exist.
No one can say with certainty specifically why God has chosen to withhold rain from parts of the West Coast, and then to flood the state with it’s recent storms with more on the way. And this is more than just California’s problem. Rising energy and food prices will be felt through out the country as the drought and floods continue.
Here is what we can be sure of: the Bible does tell us that too little rain or too much rain is a sign of judgment. The Bible also says rain falling in its seasons is a blessing. (Job 37:13) We must realize that God is the only option if rain is what is needed.
Now, let’s go back to Governor Brown’s call to arms. Failing to acknowledge the rule of God is a common fault of those in political leadership. There is a tendency to think that human problems can be solved by legislation, executive orders, or by elections. These beliefs lead to arrogance and a false sense of power. No law or technological device can make rain. God is the rainmaker. What is important is to recognize the arrogance of ignoring that the state is dependent upon the care of God for rain.
God is not a God to be ignored or mocked. Not to say that all Governor Brown has to do is ask God for rain. As was demonstrated in 2011, there was no immediate response to Governor Perry of Texas when he prayed for rain. The bottom line here is that the problem that California faces is not with the weather or with “Mother Nature.” The problem is with God. All people are subject to his control. He alone determines how much rain will or will not fall. This is where to start – acknowledging that God exists and the he is the one to whom all men are accountable.
This one thing is for sure…California is the 6th largest economy in the world…It will face certain hardships in the coming days. I recall when I lived in California as a child, that we had rain in the early 70’s for 42 days straight….right about the time Roe VS Wade was introduced..and the Feminist Movement was well underway…and we had a leader in the White House who cussed like a sailor using the Lord’s name in vain.
I also know this….I am very fearful for California and the great possibility of a large earthquake now that all of this rain has fallen..with more to come..we will know for sure then if this rain is a blessing, or judgment upon this land…stay tuned.