West Coast hit hard by 'Pineapple Express' storm
A dangerous storm system slammed into Oregon, Washington, and California this week, drenching the region, triggering mudslides, and leading to evacuations.
The storm system — dubbed “Pineapple Express” because of its origins as moisture carried in a current from Hawaii — is bringing much needed precipitation to the drought-ridden state, but leaving destruction in its wake. By early Friday morning on the West Coast, the storm had reached the Los Angeles area, according to the Associated Press.
Two people in Oregon were killed due to falling trees. Others in Washington and California were injured from debris. More than 160,000 power outages were reported along the coast and hundreds of residents were evacuated in California, primarily in Glendora, where wildfires had stripped foothills bare of erosion-preventing brush and trees, and Sonoma County, which is situated on lower elevations near the Russian River.
In coastal areas, high winds are expected. In the Bay Area, including San Francisco, torrential downpours caused flash flooding as residents in boats paddled through flooded streets and parking lots. On the Golden Gate Bridge — which is designed to swing in crosswinds — a buffer zone was created to prevent collisions when cars swerved.