After the multi-year drought that California has been experiencing it's no wonder that some people are a bit incredulous, but scientists are legitimately concerned about a "mega-storm" that could flood a large area of the state. The storm could cause more than 1.5 million people to need to evacuate their homes, and would cause hundreds of billions of dollars in damage.
Scientists are calling the potential storm the "other big-one" because of the sheer amount of damage that it could do. It is estimated that a storm of this magnitude could do as much as three times the damage of "the big one", a large-scale earthquake along the San Andreas fault.
California is no stranger to the cycle of droughts punctuated with epic rainfall and flooding. One such flood occurred in 1938; only six days of storms were enough to cause major destruction to infrastructure and killed at least 21 people.
Scientists are calling the potential storm "ARkStorm" (Atmospheric River 1,000 Storm), and it could cause more than $725 billion in damage. The United States Army Corps of Engineers is also concerned about existing flood-management infrastructure, specifically the Whittier Narrows Dam.
Many people on Twitter urged others to take this warning seriously.
@mattdpearce Makes Harvey in Houston sound like child’s play. And as someone who lived through Harvey that is a dire warning.— TrueToForm (@TrueToForm) 1550590197.0
@mattdpearce This is not good. Holy shit. This is not good. I have disabilities and this could affect areas I live… https://t.co/M6ISXiCmmu— Christian Varela (@Christian Varela) 1550587640.0
@mattdpearce As a former catastrophe insurance adjuster, I've seen the destruction & pain these types of mega storm… https://t.co/EG4gmQkhKz— Lynne Camp (@Lynne Camp) 1550588862.0
Recent research (& real-world experience) suggest changing climate & decaying infrastructure on collision course. “… https://t.co/TIpaHf3Ces— Daniel Swain (@Daniel Swain) 1550511717.0
@Weather_West @LouisSahagun ARKstorm! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼this needs more attention! #AtmosphericRiver— 🌱Grasping at the Roots🌱 (@🌱Grasping at the Roots🌱) 1550552971.0
@Weather_West @LouisSahagun @KamalaHarris @GavinNewsom I urge us to take heed and develop our state to lead and withstand.— Gregory Rutchik (@Gregory Rutchik) 1550535861.0
Say, what could make things worse? How about 45 days of rain in Southern California, dam failures, 20 feet of water… https://t.co/Bhyi68D8Cb— Keith Olbermann (@Keith Olbermann) 1550510964.0
@mattdpearce Ask Houston and surrounding areas how well the same group of engineers were able to contain water duri… https://t.co/2XWzU4FTw7— Erin 🚫👉🤖 (@Erin 🚫👉🤖) 1550586357.0
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is focusing on infrastructure upgrades to help cope with a potential storm of this magnitude.
Speaking of urgent national federal infrastructure projects — upgrading the Whittier Narrows Dam is the U.S. Army C… https://t.co/lcJJpwHlVS— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@Matt Pearce 🦅) 1550512796.0
"The corps is seeking up to $600 million in federal funding to upgrade the 3-mile-long dam, and say the project has… https://t.co/tSXLx4D599— 😐😑😐 (@😐😑😐) 1550517999.0
The ARkStorm isn't being forecasted in the near future, but it is a definite possibility within our lifetimes. Hopefully those in charge of funding take the warning to heart and begin work on improving California's infrastructure to cope with the possibilities of the future.