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Rain helps wash away California’s drought

Heavy+rainfall+leaves+behind+drenched+gardens+and+filled+gutters.+Steady+rains+and+winter+storms+have+close+to+ended+the+drought+in+Northern+California.+
Heavy rainfall leaves behind drenched gardens and filled gutters. Steady rains and winter storms have close to ended the drought in Northern California.

Heavy rainfall leaves behind drenched gardens and filled gutters. Steady rains and winter storms have close to ended the drought in Northern California.

Noah Sun

Noah Sun

Heavy rainfall leaves behind drenched gardens and filled gutters. Steady rains and winter storms have close to ended the drought in Northern California.

Noah Sun, Staff Writer

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The worst is officially over.

The abundance of rain that has battered California’s coastal cities for the past couple months has washed away the worst effects of the drought in many areas. Steady rains since October, combined with near-normal rainfall from Pacific storms last winter, have all but ended the drought in regions of Northern California.

“The two big holdouts would be groundwater recovery and in Southern California reservoir recovery,” said U.S. Department of Agriculture meteorologist Brad Rippey said in a report conducted by CNBC. “As you move to the north it’s becoming more and more obvious that the drought has been eradicated.”

As of December 2016, 58 percent of California was classified as being in some form of drought, down from 88 percent a year ago, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor report by the Department of Agriculture.

The rainfall has also dramatically increased reservoir levels. Lake Shasta, California’s largest reservoir, is at 118 percent of its historic average, up from 50 percent this time last year. Similarly, Lake Oroville in Butte County is at 91 percent of historic capacity compared to 47 percent a year ago.

However, Southern California is still suffering from extreme drought conditions. Lake Cachuma, a primary source of water for the city of Santa Barbara, is only 8 percent full, and the Santa Barbara City Council has banned all lawn watering to conserve the limited water supply, according to the Mercury News.

“Precipitation and storage are doing quite well compared to the past five years of historic drought conditions,” Bill Croyle, acting director of the State Department of Water Resources, said to the Mercury News. “That makes us cautiously optimistic about water conditions, although some areas in California are still hit hard by the drought and require a response.”

While the rain has helped alleviate the drought conditions, the heavy rain has caused roads to close and houses to collapse due to flash flooding. The storms produced extensive flooding in Sonoma County and around Sacramento, and Interstate 80 was closed due to mudslides during the storm.

Jason Fu, a sophomore at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, said, “It’s scary dealing with these conditions as they haven’t shown up in years.

Regardless, it looks like California’s four-year-long drought is finally coming to an end.

Professionals predict more frequent rainfall and crucial rain producing storms for the next couple months; however, as it’s winter, it’s still too early to be completely certain. Nevertheless, plants are expected to rejuvenate and reservoirs are expected to fill back up. Many Californians are happy to witness a break from the drought.

“The recent recent that has occurred over the past couple months has really changed how many of us view the drought,” said Caleb Ahn, a sophomore at Carlmont. “I look forward to seeing plants grow and enjoying the other things water has to offer.”

 

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About the Contributor
Noah Sun, Staff Writer
Noah Sun is a sophomore at Carlmont High School. He plays saxophone in the music program and is also team captain of the JV water polo team. In his free time, Noah enjoys hanging out with friends, playing on his piano, and enjoying the entertainment of video games. @YoWuddupItsNoah (Visited 4 times today)
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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Rain helps wash away California’s drought