New threat for CA – superfloods

Official United States Geological Survey Logo

Image via Wikipedia

If Quakes Weren’t Enough, Enter the ‘Superstorm.’ NY times. Jan. 15, 2011.

California faces the risk not just of devastating earthquakes but also of a catastrophic storm that could tear at the coasts, inundate the Central Valley and cause four to five times as much economic damage as a large quake, scientists and emergency planners warn.

The potential for such a storm was described at a conference of federal and California officials that ended Friday. Combining advanced flood mapping and atmospheric projections with data on California’s geologic flood history, over 100 scientists calculated the probable consequences of a “superstorm” carrying tropical moisture from the South Pacific and dropping up to 10 feet of rain across the state.

Some technical details from the US Geological Survey can be found here.

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