High-flow events can occur days, weeks or months after raining has stopped. So, if you live in an area where heavy precipitation has occurred, stay vigilant.
Following extreme weather conditions that brought heavy rainfall to California this month, a notable number of landslide events were reported across the state.
The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), in partnership with the California Department of Conservation w(DOC), is supporting impacted communities and jurisdictions through all stages of these events.
CAL OES SUPPORT DURING A LANDSLIDE EMERGENCY
Since the onset of the recent storms, Cal OES has been coordinating efforts to mitigate risks, including through its Watershed and Debris Flow Taskforce, which proactively identifies areas geologically prone to high-flow events. During precipitation, the task force monitors rainfall by inches-per-hour and inches-per-day in these high-risk areas.
Cal OES also works with state agency partners like DOC or the California Conservation Corps (CCC) to install protective measures on slopes to prevent extreme erosion.
If the rain meets a predetermined threshold, the Cal OES Watershed and Debris Flow Task Force communicates the risk to the State Operations Center and local jurisdictions for consideration, which can result in evacuations.
Understanding the complexities of landslides is crucial for communities in hazard-prone regions.
Landslides: occur when the stability of a slope is disrupted, leading to the downhill movement of soil, rocks, and debris. They can be triggered by factors such as heavy rainfall, earthquakes, or human activities like excavation. Understanding their causes and characteristics is crucial for communities to mitigate risks and protect lives and property.
Mudslides: a type of landslide that result from the failure of a slope, and often occurs due to the accumulation of water from prolonged rainfall and/or saturated subsurface conditions.
Debris Flows: another type of landslide described as a “sediment-dominated slurry,” debris flows are mostly made up of soil, resulting from short-duration, high-intensity rainfall events.
FOLLOWING LANDSLIDE EVENTS
After landslide events, health hazards remain, including broken utility lines and disrupted infrastructure. Also, be sure to know what disasters your region is most susceptible to. To check your hazards, visit the My Hazards Website.
Environmental factors play a significant role in these events, influencing decisions about where to live, work, and recreate. Power outages are common, so signing up for local alerts and considering the medical baseline program for early power shutoff notifications is recommended.
As Cal OES continues to monitor weather conditions and assess risks, communities are reminded to stay vigilant and heed evacuation orders issued by local authorities. By staying informed, Californians can better prepare for and respond to hazardous weather events.