Atmospheric River a Reminder of Bay Area Vulnerability to Extreme Storms

A second atmospheric river pummeled Northern California this week, bringing historic rain, flooding, snow and winds, prompting Gov. Gavin Newsom to expand an earlier state of emergency declaration, and offering a reminder of the Bay Area Council’s continuing call for increasing our resilience against extreme storms. A report by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute—Surviving the Storm—estimated that damage from a 100-year extreme storm could badly cripple critical infrastructure across the region and wreak $10.8 billion in damage. This week’s potent Pineapple Express submerged dozens of communities along the Russian River, causing thousands of residents to evacuate, turning the towns of Guerneville and Monte Rio into islands and shutting down Highway 37 in the North Bay. The storms have caused flooding, mudslides, erosion, power outages, and damage to critical infrastructure across the region.

Climate change is forcing communities across California to grapple with how to become more resilient to yo-yoing floods, droughts, fire, extreme heat and rising sea levels. As a strong advocate for building the region’s resilience to rising seas and extreme weather, the Bay Area Council is advancing climate change resilience and adaptation projects and advocating for federal restoration funding to bolster coastal resilience. To engage in the Council’s water and climate resilience work, please contact Vice President Adrian Covert.

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