Fortunately, Waikanae has a wet climate; the average annual 55 inches or 1,400 mm mentioned in the L.A. Times article below is about the same that we get and this year’s rainfall so far is right on average. Still, the KCDC stores none of it with a dam and when summer comes around and things dry up….
“This is a wet place by California standards. It averages about 55 inches of rain a year, thanks to its prime location in the verdant foothills of the Sierra Nevada, which wrings rain out of Pacific storms…
When Greg Bolin arrived in Paradise in 1967, the Sierra Nevada foothill town was too small to require traffic lights. It felt unplanned and slightly spontaneous. Rustic wood-sided cabins sprouted up along winding, often narrow roads and cul-de-sacs. It was the kind of place you could live in for decades and still not know all its secrets. “It just kind of evolved over the years,” said Bolin, the town’s vice mayor and also a builder.
“Was it something I would design? No, not at all. It was something we had to live with.”
Bolin was part of the mass migration four decades ago that ultimately doomed the Sierra ridge town. Everyone wanted to live in Paradise. When a massive wildfire swept through its streets on Thursday, residents found themselves trapped by bumper-to-bumper traffic as they tried to flee.
To date 42 people on the ridge are confirmed dead, and more than half the dwellings of Paradise are gone. Still burning and uncontrolled, whipped by winds, the fire that began five days ago on Camp Road is already the worst wildfire disaster in California history. The irony is that Paradise was one of the few Sierra slope towns built in a tinderbox that tried to change its fate. Los Angeles Times
Vicious cycle: This month’s firestorms come as California continues to see much less rain than it used to get. That makes an already dangerous situation much worse. Los Angeles Times