flood

Are Wet Winters or Drought Worse for California Fires?

Disastrous wildfires are popularly associated with drought. But the North Bay fires followed one of the wettest winters in decades.

The nightly news tends to make things even more confusing. During drought, newscasters sound the alarm about dead trees and the general flammability of parched forests. After wet winters, dire warnings are issued about the abundant growth of grass and brush that will become tinder during the hot, dry days of California’s summer and fall. So are wet winters worse for fires? Or are dry winters worse? Read more about Are Wet Winters or Drought Worse for California Fires? »

Dammed If We Do: What Could Happen If Oroville Dam Fails

The news from Oroville Dam on Tuesday is nominally better. Water isn’t flowing over the top of wall at the auxiliary spillway, and erosion has stopped. Water releases are ahead of inflows, and the reservoir’s level is falling. Perhaps most encouraging for the close to 200,000 displaced locals downstream of the dam, the evacuation alert has been downgraded. Read more about Dammed If We Do: What Could Happen If Oroville Dam Fails »

Stormy Weather

During a terrible storm in the winter of 1969, Berkeley professor Lynn Ingram, just 8 years old at the time, remembers looking out her window and seeing her backyard disappear. The rain-drenched earth of her Santa Barbara home was sliding down into the canyon below. She worried that her whole house would wash away. Read more about Stormy Weather »

From the Summer 2013 A New Deal issue of California.
Subscribe to flood