FEMA warns of flooding in California thanks to El Niño

FEMA warns of flooding in California thanks to El Niño
The empty Folsom Lake, a common sight in California this November. Credit: Mark Ralston/Getty Images

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Flood Insurance may be something people in California have on their minds as FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) warns that floods could cause massive damage this winter in California.

With an extreme El Niño in full swing this fall and winter the weather pattern is expected to be quite active along the coast and mountains of California. This active pattern should bring large and strong low pressure systems into the western states, bringing plentiful amounts of rain.

This rainfall will fall on drought stricken landscapes. A landscape in drought usually cannot hold as much water as normal soil due to the rocky/hard structure of the soil. This could lead to massive runoff and potentially a dangerous situation.

"If there was ever a time to buy flood insurance, this is the time," Roy Wright, FEMA's deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation, told the L.A. Times.

AOL.com reports that 50 to 70 percent of people in flood prone areas do not have flood insurance. FEMA knows this is a tall task to get everyone to buy flood insurance but they warn if you do not, you will could be stuck with a large bill after a flood or possibly even homeless.

"It is great advice to be prepared, but it is impossible to know exactly which areas will see flooding," said weather.com meteorologist Linda Lam. "El Niño is expected to play an important role in this winter's weather and the forecast is for wetter than average conditions for much of California, with southern California seeing the highest chance of above-average precipitation. Some drought relief is likely, but the details of how much rain will fall in what period of time and where are uncertain."

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