The coastal city of Pacifica, located just south of San Francisco, has declared a local state of emergency and ordered the evacuation of several homes that sit atop coastal bluffs that are eroding and crumbling into the ocean as a result of heavy rains.
While the recent storms have made a relatively positive impact against the state's severe drought — such as the rise in some lake levels — as they become more relentless, they also become more dangerous.
Drone footage posted to YouTube captured chunks of rock and debris from Pacifica's cliffs falling into the ocean as apartment buildings teeter along the edge.
“El Niño is hitting the city’s coastline very hard and creating almost daily reports of impacts to both public and private property,” Pacifica city manager, Lorie Tinfow, reportedly said in a statement.
Although several homes and apartments along the bluffs have been abandoned since 2010, there are still occupied homes in danger.
City officials previously stacked rocks at the base of the cliff to break crashing waves, drilled reinforcement rods into the bluffs and coated the cliff-faces with reinforced concrete. However, these measures don’t seem to be holding up against El Niño.
Despite recent clear Northern California skies, meteorologists expect El Niño to bring more downpours through March, according to Daily Mail.
Residents are not happy about being displaced, some even refusing to go. “You guys are going to have to physically drag me out,” Michelle McKay reportedly told the local police chief on Monday. “I'm not leaving!”
Perhaps McKay hasn’t seen the frightening drone footage of waves violently crashing against the bluffs and the avalanche of rock tumbling down into the ocean. Otherwise, she might be singing a different tune.
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Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Sean Ramsey