Monday, January 9, 2017

Iconic Giant Sequoia Falls Victim To Big California Storm

Among the saddest casualties of the big "atmospheric river" storm that has been battering California the past few days is a giant sequoia tree called Pioneer Cabin, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The tree was named for a tunnel that was carved into the enormous tree's base 137 years ago.

The tunnel through the tree was big enough to drive a car through, though in recent years the tunnel was only open to hikers.

There's pictures dating back to the late 1800s of people walking or driving through the tunnel in the tree.

"We lost an old friend today," said Jim Allday, who lives not far from the tree, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Calaveras Big Tree Association Facebook page filled with memorials to the iconic tree today.

No one is sure how old this tunnel tree was, but many of the giant sequoias are estimated to be more than 1,000 years old.

Of course, the storm on the West Coast caused a lot more havoc than tearing down that iconic tree.

As expected, severe flooding and mudslides are plaguing California and Nevada. At least three deaths have been reported in California due to the flooding, which is being billed as the worst in a decade.

Parts of Interstate 80 were closed due to mudslides. As can be expected in this situation, a lot of people have GPS in their cars. With I-80 closed, some of these people went for something called Henness Pass Road, which is a narrow, icy, muddy, scary mess. Many vehicles got stuck there today.
The wreckage of the iconic Pioneer Tree
Sequoia in California

As Washoe County sheriff's say, this is a lesson: Don't blindly follow your GPS.

There's a lot of flooding in western Nevada, too. About 1,300 residents were evacuated from near Reno, Nevada because of the flooding.

And it ain't over.  

Another two to three inches of rain in lower elevations and four to eight inches of rain in higher elevations is due Tuesday and Wednesday across much of northern California as the next in a series of storms comes ashore from the Pacific.

That's sure to continue the flooding in California.

The new storm is also another windy one.  High wind warnings are up for much of northern California Tuesday for wind gusts up to 65 mph.

I guess the only bright spot on the West Coast is there's signs of a break in the very stormy winter coming up toward the end of the week.

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