L.A. County remains dry, most of Southern California avoids Northern California storm system
By Bill Cooke and Jeff Manning, U-T San Diego
April 24, 2012
Water damage and power failures throughout Southern California are the worst they have been since the region was hit by an extensive drought in 2001.
In Santa Ana, where power is out to more than 250,000 residents, the National Weather Service issued severe weather and flood danger warnings for three days that stretched from yesterday morning until early this morning.
While several hundred customers suffered no problems, about 40,000 are without power. State power officials say that by April 27th, about 14,000 customers will be in need of assistance.
Southern California remains under extreme drought conditions. This week in Southern California, the last week of April was the driest on record, according to the California Department of Water Resources.
The National Weather Service says that this last week of April is expected to be the driest April anywhere in the state, at least since 2005.
Drier than the last week of March, but not as dry as the first week of April 2002, when about 10 percent of counties in the region were declared drought-free.
The last week of April, however, is actually the 12th highest for April precipitation in the San Joaquin Valley, according to weather stations between Fountaingroupe and the Tehachapi mountain region.
The last week of March has been the driest in the Tehachapi mountain region, with a total of 5.73 inches of precipitation during March, compared to this week’s 1.67 inches.
Santa Ana remains in an extended period of drought for its entire urban area, as well as its rural areas.
Santa Ana City Councilman John Hege said the city began noticing problems with water and power in late March, but had some luck recovering from them.
The city had expected to be without power by late March, but because of continued rains in recent weeks, water and power have held up. City officials say they’ve reached out to Southern California Edison and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, both of which are helping.
Hegemeyer said the city is working to restore power for its customers, and for those whose utilities are out of service.
Some of the city’s electricity has come from the National Grid