A series of storms have inundated California over the past few weeks, and the latest deluge is currently swelling rivers and reservoirs that are already spilling over.
Vast swathes of California continue to be at risk for flooding as the storm runoff makes its way through river systems, the National Weather Service warns. Across California, residents were evacuated when local rivers flooded, including a small Northern California town that experienced a levee breach Monday night.
The severe flooding may feel like a whiplash development in a state that’s been locked in drought for five years — and in an “exceptional drought” for three of them. Still, California has seen worse: massive floods have swept through the state about every 200 years for the past 2,000 years or more, climate scientists Michael Dettinger and Lynn Ingram recount in a 2013 article.