Huge snowpack, blooming desert mark retreat of California drought
Huge snowpack, blooming desert mark retreat of California drought.
In its latest snow survey completed Thursday, the department found the snowpack for the entire Sierra Nevada was at 164% of average for this time of year.
We have very dry years followed by extremely wet years.” The snow was so deep this year at around 9,000 feet in the central Sierras that a CNN crew was not able to return to the spot they reached two years ago.
"Except for the flagpole and the antenna, you would not know that there is a building there," said Gehrke, according to KTLA.
The governor later ordered residents to sharply curtail their use of water at home.
As hundreds of domestic wells ran dry, many people in rural farming communities and some Californians elsewhere had to drink bottled water and bathe from buckets.
One delightful sign of the retreating drought is a tourist boom in some desert towns from a rare "super bloom" of flowers.
On the downside, the huge snow buildup prompted Los Angeles Major Eric Garcetti last week to declare a state of emergency for the region over concerns of that the melting in the eastern Sierra Nevada would threaten homes in rural areas of Owens Valley hundreds of miles north of the city.
The flood issue is frequently a tense one for Los Angeles, which surreptitiously bought rights to water in the valley and channeled it south more than a century ago.
The emergency declaration cleared the way for the Department of Water and Power to spend up to $50 million to respond to any damage to public health and safety and to protect infrastructure and the environment.