By Mikayla Carter
Benicia experienced heavy hail that resembled snow and residents say they were able to have “snowball fights” in their yards. There has recently been a warning to Southern California cities that a rare mega storm is expected to hit, that will cause 3 times as much damage as a major earthquake along the San Andreas Fault lines. This mega storm is also expected to reach the Bay Area especially in San Francisco Bayshore and other neighboring communities. If the storm hits as strongly as expected, a dam in the Bay is estimated to cause 1.2 million dollars of property loss from spillway damage or downstream erosion.
California has gotten eighteen trillion gallons of water during the month of February, according to the National Weather Service. Since January 1st, San Francisco has received almost 12 inches of rain- 162% more than it would during that time period. Oakland nealy received 9 inches of rain- 140% more than normal- and San Jose 8.18 inches- 161% more than normal. The Bay Area has experienced unusually cold temperatures that were near freezing the following the week of the storms.
On top of the heavy rainfall, snow in the the Sierra Nevada is already 141% above the seasonal average. With traffic increasing due to weekend skiers wanting to experience the snow, the California Highway Patrol has forced to slow down traffic along the Tejon Pass due to black ice concerns on the Grapevine. Despite the storms increasing the risk for car accidents and property damage, this winter has helped keep California out of drought conditions that have plagued the state for years. None of the state is considered to be in an extreme drought.