From the Publisher March 2016
Since November, it seems that everyone has been waiting for El Niño to arrive. We’re still waiting. A few weeks ago, the waves in Hawaii rose to 50 feet. They said that was El Niño. By mid-December, Oregon experienced a rain event that dumped three inches of rain in one day. The streets began to flood and left debris all over the place. More rain fell that night.
Washington had a similar experience. The first week in January brought strong storms to California, with isolated flooding and mudslides. So, was that the beginning of El Niño? A few days later, FEMA announced that it was looking for various places in California where heavy rains could cause major damage. In other words, FEMA was beginning to prepare for El Niño and what devastation might accompany it.
Since then, there has been some more rain in Southern California, a little more in Northern California, but so far, that’s it.
So where is El Niño? Now, climatologists are saying that the ‘big show’ will be in February and March. However, some meteorologists who were so sure about the coming of El Niño are now beginning to question its appearance.
There is no doubt that in the West and Southwest we need more rain. Hopefully, we can get it in small doses, so flooding is kept to a minimum. If we can avoid the flooding that occurred in North Carolina last fall, it would save lives, time and lots of money to repair the damage.
If El Niño does what the weather forecasters predict, damage could be extremely high. We need to prepare for this event and expect the worst. Just look at the news clips to see what happens in and after a heavy rainstorm.
Soil erosion will be widespread; our industry should be prepared and ready to serve our communities. And along the way, there will be lots of work for our industry.