El Nino Arrives at Crystal Cove
In early January, the Cove got its first taste of the storms that may be coming when a series of heavy rain battered the Cove for almost a week. Though there was no serious damage caused by this early glimpse of El Niño, the rains provided for dramatic video footage as they flooded the tunnel beneath Pacific Coast Highway that normally provides a pathway to the Historic District.
Crystal Cove regulars have been noticing signs of the upcoming El Niño for nearly a year, as warm-water aquatic animals, such as pelagic red crabs, started washing up on the Cove’s sandy beaches late last spring. Still, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory warns that we might not have seen the peak of this current El Niño, which may strengthen in late March or early April.
With the possibility of increased rains and flooding in the months to come, Crystal Cove State Park staff have been working diligently to prepare for the anticipated storms, clearing foliage, cutting back trees, and taking precautions against mudslides.
While we still don’t know for certain when El Niño will hit its stride, Park visitors are advised to take precaution and plan ahead before coming to Crystal Cove.
“We haven’t seen the down pour we have anticipated,” says Caesar Romo, State Park Maintenance Worker II. “Still, visitors can check the State Park website to check for closures or call the El Moro headquarters for further information before setting out into the backcountry.”
Keep an eye on Crystal Cove Alliance’s Facebook page for more updates on the possible rain coming to the Cove!
Top image: Aftermath of the last rainstorm that barreled through Crystal Cove
Photo courtesy of Deena Harros
Videos below show the flooded tunnel to the Historic District, along with a rapidly flowing Los Trancos Creek
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Videos courtesy of Cindy Otto