The torrential rainfall, tornadoes, and hail pounding southern California last week were in news headlines across the nation. Southern California is known for its temperate Mediterranean climate (one of only five geographic areas in the world that enjoy the warm, sunny climate), where tornadoes are all but unheard of.
When tornado warnings started popping up across the southland on Tuesday, many residents and visitors alike were scrambling. “Its been a long time since I’ve been in tornado weather, and my youngest daughter never has. She’s at school right now wondering what she’s supposed to do,” said Sylvia Eigenmann of Huntington Beach, one of the worst-hit communities with regard to the tornadoes. “No one along the beach has a basement. Where is she supposed to go? What should she do?”
Questions like these were common throughout the area, but even more so in Anaheim where visitors to Disneyland were wondering where to go if a twister hits the park? Watches were in effect for Anaheim, Fullerton, Santa Ana, and Tustin, to name a few. Disneyland officials had no choice but to close their doors early in light of the emergency. Doors officially closed at 8 pm.
The storms, however, didn’t stop there. Wednesday and Thursday, torrential rains continued to fall, accompanied by dangerous thunder and lightning. The mountain areas were on alert for mudslides and many surrounding areas were experiencing unusual amounts of flooding with news and weather agencies reporting the “worst storms in five years.” (http://www.accuweather.com/mt-news-blogs.asp?blog=clark) Five storms stacked back-to-back brought almost 5 inches of rain to the area in about 4 days, more than double the normal precipitation for the region.
With attendance numbers falling and the park nearly empty, Disneyland closed early for Thursday, as well, shutting down 3 hours ahead of schedule – out of character for SoCal’s hottest theme park.
“The last time it closed (like this) was on May 4, 2005 in preparation for the 50th anniversary. Although they did let in the media for that. If you wanna argue when the park was actually closed to all, that was on September 11, 2001,” according to LittleCricket, micechat.com.
The storms are likely over, for now, but for those planning a trip to the D-Spot anytime soon, checking the local weather conditions before purchasing tickets is a good plan.