California battles deadly storms with millions under flood watch

January 16, 2023 6:11 am

[Source: BBC]

Around 25 million people in California are under a flood watch this weekend as the latest in a parade of deadly storms drenches the state.

Several waterways have flooded, at least 19 people have died and thousands have been told to evacuate their homes.

In Montecito, a town 84 miles (135km) north-west of Los Angeles, locals say the rain aggravates their trauma.

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A mudslide here killed 23 people in 2018 and many are afraid it could happen again.

Rita Bourbon credits Italian stone masons with saving her life. The craftsmen built her home more than a century ago and she says it’s like a fortress.

She survived the storm five years ago, crying inside with her daughter and some friends as they listened to the sound of boulders and other houses ripped from their foundations crashing into her home.

The next day, the neighbourhood up the coast from Los Angeles was wrecked and almost two dozen were dead, including her neighbour whom she found in her garden in the mud.