Wet Weather Impact

TO SEE THE FULL EFFECTS OF HEAVY RAINS ON CALIFORNIA, YOU NEED TO ZOOM OUT – WAY OUT! LUCKILY, NASA IS ABLE TO PROVIDE SATELLITE IMAGES FROM THEIR EARTH OBSERVATORY!

THESE IMAGES SHOW HOW RAIN CAUSED IN CALIFORNIA IS CARRYING SEDIMENT THROUGH WATERWAYS AND DUMPING IT INTO THE PACIFIC OCEAN. SEDIMENT IS MATERIAL THAT YOU USUALLY FIND ON THE BOTTOM OF A BODY OF WATER.

THE BROWN PACIFIC WATER INDICATES SEDIMENT-RICH AREAS; TEAL-ISH PACIFIC WATER INDICATES THE SEDIMENT MIXING WITH THE OCEAN’S SALTWATER.
IN SAN FRANCISCO NO SATELLITE IMAGES ARE NEEDED TO SEE THAT THE MASSIVE RAINS HAVE TURNED THE USUALLY LOVELY BAY INTO A MUDDY MESS!

OUR BAY IS A MESS. LOOK AT THIS VIEW FROM SKY SEVEN. A MASS OF FLOATING DEBRIS WAS VISIBLE NEAR THE RICHMOND-SAN RAFAEL BRIDGE ON WEDNESDAY. CLUSTERS LIKE THESE ARE CLOGGING THE WATERS FROM HERE TO ANGEL ISLAND AND ALCATRAZ. EXPERTS SAY ALL THE RAIN WE HAVE HAD IS TO BLAME - OUR FERRIES ARE THE ONES PAYING THE PRICE.

Ernest Sanchez / Water Emergency Transportation Authority: "Four vessels that have had propellers bent, and in some cases had to be replaced. In three other cases, the water jets have sucked in debris and we've had to stall and stop and get that debris out of the water jet engine,"

ERSONAL WATERCRAFTS HAVE ALSO BEEN DAMAGED. IT'S SO BAD, THE COAST GUARD ISSUED AN OFFICIAL WARNING TO WATCH OUT FOR THE JUNK AND TO MAKE SURE YOUR STUFF DOESN'T BECOME PART OF THE PROBLEM.

Lt. Megan Mervar / U.S. Coast Guard:"We really encourage boaters to make sure that their vessels are secure, double check their mooring lines. Even small craft -- make sure kayaks, canoes, paddle boards. Make sure those are secured. Any gear that's along the banks. Make sure you've got all of that secured otherwise it could become marine debris,"

THE HIGHER WATER LEVELS AND FASTER CURRENTS HAVE PUSHED DEBRIS DOWNSTREAM. IT'S NOT JUST TRASH BUT ALSO A LOT OF PLANT MATTER AND LOGS. SOME FERRY ROUTES HAVE BEEN DELAYED OR EVEN CANCELED, WITH BUSES HAVING TO TAKE THEIR PLACE. OFFICIALS SAY THERE'S NOT MUCH WE CAN DO BUT TRY TO STEER AROUND
IT AND TO WAIT.

Ernest Sanchez / Water Emergency Transportation Authority: "We haven't had situation like this for a while because our rains have been light. But now that we're back into a rainy season, which is great, we do have this issue to work through. And it will eventually work itself out," .

BUT THIS MASSIVE RAIN ISN’T JUST MUCKING UP THE OCEAN AND BAY – IN FACT, IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, MUDSLIDES FORCED THE CLOSURE OF A BUSY HIGHWAY.
A MUDSLIDE IS A LARGE PILE OF WET EARTH THAT SUDDENLY AND QUICKLY MOVES DOWN THE SIDE OF A MOUNTAIN OR HILL.
IN THIS CASE, MUD AND WATER SPILLED ONTO HIGHWAY 101 FROM THE HILLSIDE IN VENTURA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA. PART OF THE HIGHWAY WAS CLOSED, AS CREWS WERE ON SCENE WORKING TO CLEAR THE DEBRIS.

[CLIP] SGT. TOM WEBSTER/CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL "AS YOU KNOW YEARS PAST WE'VE HAD DIFFICULTIES WITH HOLDING BACK THE MUD FROM THE HILLSIDES ONTO THE HIGHWAY. SO IT'S BEEN A COMMON OCCURRENCE OVER THE YEARS."


Instructional Links


Website Article: Wikipedia: U.S. Route 101 in California | Extensive information with map & mile marker details

Website Article: Wonderopolis, What Causes Mudslides | Includes video, vocabulary, activities & quiz

Website Article: Weather Wiz Kids, Mudslide Safety

Website Article: Be Prepared California, Natural Disasters, Landslides and Mudslides | Explanation and safety procedures

Newspaper Article: San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Bay Turns Brown after Nonstop Storms | Includes images & video

Interactive Map, Heal the Bay, Beach Report Card | Can find information for all California or northern beaches & water. Click on location to explore.

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