El Niño: ‘All Hands on Deck’ Needed for Preparations, Officials Say

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Storm clouds drift over downtown Los Angeles. (Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

With the looming threat from El Niño’s heavy rains approaching, state and federal officials Wednesday emphasized the public’s role in helping prepare for what could be a record-setting wet winter.

“This is not a government solution, but a public-private, all-hands-on-deck solution,” said Bob Fenton, administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s Southwestern district. “It’s important for Californians to take this seriously and understand during these conditions that having a plan [and] supplies is important.”

Fenton spoke during a press conference at the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, in Mather.

El Niño is a warming of the ocean along the equator west of Peru, which triggers changes in the atmosphere that can dramatically alter weather patterns across the world. The system has already triggered excess rain in Texas and Florida and unusually high temperatures in the Great Plains, experts say.

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