Sinkhole opens in California swallowing two cars after torrential rain
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Featured Image Credit: NBCLA
A huge sinkholes opened in California following days of torrential rain and stormy weather, which has left at least 17 people dead.
The state is currently battling back-to-back storms that have left rainwater flooding towns.
Four people were plunged into a sinkhole in Chatsworth, Los Angeles, on Monday (January 9). Two of them were able to safely exit their vehicle, but firefighters had to step in and rescue a mother and daughter who were in their vehicle.
In a press release, the Los Angeles Fire Department said: “Two patients self-extricated, uninjured, prior to LAFD arrival.
Firefighters then secured the vehicles to limit shifting, which had already occurred twice.
"The road was continuing to sluff and deteriorate, necessitating an immediate rescue to save their lives. Firefighters conducted a high angle rope rescue operation, using the aerial ladder, and safely extricated both patients. They were treated and transported with minor injuries.”
Elsewhere, mudslides and rockfalls have shut roads and rivers have burst their banks, flooding homes.
Millions of residents have been hit with flood warnings, while more than 200,000 homes and businesses have been left without power due to the bad weather.
And the storms, which kicked off just after Christmas, show no-signs of slowing.
Yesterday, the National Weather Service warned: “Just as the last episode of heavy precipitation across California is beginning to wind down early this morning, another energetic low pressure system is quickly gathering strength off the West Coast and heading once again toward California.
“In addition to being highly moisture-laden, this rapidly intensifying system is also packing some thunderstorms.”
Stressing the severity of the storms, Californian Governor Gavin Newson said: “We’ve had less people die in the last two years of major wildfires in California than have died since New Year’s Day related to this weather. These conditions are serious and they’re deadly.”
He went on to add that California was ‘proof that the climate crisis is real and we have to take it seriously’.
On Monday, TV personality Ellen DeGeneres shared a video on Instagram from near her home with a rushing river in the background.
In the clip, DeGeneres said we needed to be nicer to Mother Nature as it is ‘not happy with us’.
She said: "This is crazy. We are having unprecedented rain. This creek near to our house never flows ever [and it's] probably about 9ft up.
"It could go another 2ft up. We have horses ready to evacuate. We need to be nicer to Mother Nature, because Mother Nature is not happy with us."