Santa Cruz, Calif.: Laurie Morse shoveled wet sand into bags in the pouring rain Wednesday, preparing to stack them along her garage in a last ditch effort to keep out a rising creek on California’s central coast, as the storm-ravaged state braced for another round of lashing rains and damaging winds.
Morse’s roof was leaking, and along with her neighbors near Santa Cruz, she spent every day of 2023 trying to figure out how to keep her house dry after an unrelenting onslaught of violent weather caused widespread damage over the past two weeks. Cars were submerged, trees uprooted and roofs blown off homes.
While the rain eased in many areas, thunderstorms led yet another atmospheric river into the northern half of the state and forecasters said the latest system would be followed by more storms this weekend and next week. From the San Francisco Bay Area down to Los Angeles, Californians had little time to rest between assessing damage from the last storm and preparing for the next.
Earlier this week, Morse and her fellow residents of tiny Rio Del Mar were ordered to evacuate as hillsides collapsed and massive logs and stumps tumbled down the bloated Aptos Creek from the Santa Cruz mountains into the Monterey Bay.