Center for Environmental Reporting

Just how bad was that storm last March?

California's Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) has just released a compelling 9-minute documentary that tells the story of this year's spring storm and flooding. The video, embedded below, shows how a persistent low pressure system parked itself over the Pacific Ocean, and spent 12 days  pushing relentless bursts of heavy rains, paralyzing snow and high winds across the state. When it was all over,the resylt was  more than $50 million in damages that left dozens of major roads impassable, and the town of Capitola flooded. Gov. Jerry Brown was forced to declare a state of emergency for 17 counties. The status of the federal response to California's aid request is a kicker near the end of the video.

"It's difficult for people to appreciate the sheer magnitude of this disaster because of the wide spread affects in different parts of the state," said Mike Dayton, Acting Secretary of Cal EMA. "We decided the best way to educate people about this disaster was to document the impacts on video and talk to experts who explain how unusual, and powerful, this storm system really was."

The video includes as-it-happened video footage of a major landslide on Nelson Road in Santa Cruz County, as well as home-video of flood waters raging through downtown Capitola, inundating their police department and emergency operations center. It also features interviews with an expert from the National Weather Service in Monterey; officials from Santa Cruz County, the most severely affected area in the state,  and California emergency managers.

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Northern California
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