By Greg Mullen
Photo by Zeynep Sude Emek
After a winter of record rainfall in parts of California, not to mention the nearly unprecedented effects of Hurricane Hillary in August, weather prognosticators are forecasting a strong El Nino for the winter to continue through the spring, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
A week before Thanksgiving, the first rains came to Southern California spreading nominal to significant precipitation, and some experts say rainy weather conditions are just starting to crank. Generally, an El Nino means warm temperatures and heavier precipitation. Regardless, winter preparedness is no small matter.
The last few years have added terms like snowmageddon, bomb cyclones, and atmospheric rivers to the weather lexicon. For that reason, ReadyOC, Orange County’s leading emergency preparedness resource, should be kept close at hand. Whether traveling for the holidays or staying close to home, there are simple precautions and steps that can and should be taken.
Locally, rain and flooding are the biggest concerns. And every year, firefighters are called upon to make swift water rescues of those who are either unaware of the dangers of flowing water, or just want to test it.
As the ReadyOC website notes, “Flooding is one of Orange County’s most likely disasters. Flash floods can strike any time with little or no warning turning Orange County streets and freeways into rivers within seconds.”