Last weekend, 15 million people in California and Nevada — many of them in the Central Valley, including Kern County — were under the threat of flooding. Evacuations were announced, and federal and state emergencies declared, as California continued to be pummeled by torrential rains and snowfall.

And water-logged Californians braced for yet another “atmospheric river” to hit the state midweek. Atmospheric rivers are bands of moisture that can stretch for thousands of miles and act like fire hoses as they dump water from saturated air. These storms have been accompanied by heavy mountain snowfall that will eventually melt and add to floodwaters.