Oh, good! Just another sign of the apocalypse!
A group of over 100 scientists and experts with the U.S. Geological Survey have discovered that California's geological history includes 'superstorms' that hit the state once every 100-200 years, and have the potential to flood a quarter of the state's homes, cause $300-$400 billion in damages, four or five times the amount that a major earthquake could!
The last time one of these storms struck, it was over a 300-mile stretch of the Central Valley, from 1861-1862. According to Geological Survey director Marcia K. McNutt, the floods were so bad that the state capital had to be moved to San Francisco! Even larger storms are thought to have hit in the years 212, 440, 603, 1029, 1418, and 1605.
Due to the rising temperatures in the atmosphere, scientists fear that the next big one could be on its way, and created a model to simulate what one of these 'superstorms' would be like. According to the model, it could last for over 40 days and dump 10 feet of water on the state, due to an "atmospheric river" that could move water "at the same rate of 50 Mississippis discharging water into the Gulf of Mexico." Winds could reportedly reach 125 mph.
Geological Survey scientist Lucy Jones concludes:
"We think this event happens once every 100 or 200 years or so, which puts it in the same category as our big San Andreas earthquakes."
Oh good! So if this superstorm doesn't get us, an earthquake will!
Luckily, federal and state emergency management officials are aware of such a potentially disastrous event, and held a conference last week about emergency preparations in case one were to actually hit.
We sincerely hope that this next one waits a few more hundred years or so!
Scary stuff, but the best we can do is hopefully have measures in place to ensure that if something like this were to happen, everyone affected by it would be safe and out of harm's way.