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California Storms: Amateur Radio is Ready


Southern California continues to feel the effects of a significant rain event that began last week, bringing record rainfall, landslides, and hurricane-strength winds. The heavy rain is the result of two atmospheric rivers, referred to as "Pineapple Expresses" because of their origins near Hawaii. Nearly half a year's worth of rain has fallen in two days. Since Sunday, February 4, areas in Los Angeles County have seen nearly one foot of rain, which has now moved east into western Arizona, southern Nevada, and southwestern Utah, raising the risk of flash flooding in those areas.

ARRL Director of Emergency Management Josh Johnston, KE5MHV, has been in contact with Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®) leadership from throughout the affected area. "ARES member-volunteers are ready to be pressed into service when called upon by one of their local served agencies," he said.  

The situation continues to evolve, Johnston has received several situation updates from ARES leaders.  

ARRL San Joaquin Valley (SJV) Section Emergency Coordinator Dan Sohn, WL7COO, wrote:  

The SJV Section is experiencing electrical power outages caused by high winds affecting tens of thousands of homes and businesses mostly in the westernmost, lower-elevation Central Valley counties and elevations at or above about 3,500 feet above sea level... The incoming atmospheric river appears to be moving more to the north than the last two storms, so we'll see what that brings the SJV counties that are already saturated... and [we] hope that it lessens the life-threatening, ongoing damage throughout southern California.  

Johnston also received this update from ARRL Nevada Section Emergency Coordinator John Abrott, KD7NHC:  

Here in northern Nevada, a varying amount of snow was received. I received reports from Carson City of 10 - 11, inches, and reports of 10 - 13 inches in Carson Valley and parts of Reno. There are several feet of snow at higher elevations. I have not received any reports of ARES members being activated. Several counties were requested to be ready in the event that their services were needed. Major roads are clear, but residential streets still have snow.  

ARES teams are ready when needed and will continue monitor the situations in California and affected neighboring states. Check ARRL News for the latest updates.



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