California levee disaster: One family’s flight from climate-fueled flooding
Denia Escutia dreamed of moving to Southern California to learn how to care for sick kids at UCLA. But when a river swallowed her town and destroyed her home, she deferred those dreams to take care of her family instead. It’s been seven months since a massive storm over California’s Central Coast dropped as much as 13 inches of rain in some places. Swollen with all that water, the Pajaro River ripped a 400-foot hole in the levee a few miles east of Escutia’s raised, one-story house where she lived with her mom, dad, brother and sister. The emotional pain of that experience, she said quietly with tears in her eyes, has not waned.
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