Nation Notes: Disasters

Too Much of a Good Thing

For bone-dry Southern California, the rains that began Feb. 5 at first provided a welcome respite from a six-year-long drought. But last week the storms suddenly became too much of a good thing. Fifteen inches has fallen, drowning cars, streets and houses under rivers of water. At least eight people died, including a Ventura County man and his pregnant wife who were buried by a wave of mud.

The storms took residents and officials by surprise. The National Weather Service's Southern California office did not issue its first flood warning until after TV news accounts had already shown people being rescued...

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