Drought Problems? Just Have an Earthquake

Folks in Napa and its surrounding areas are still cleaning up after the earthquake that struck the region two weeks ago. The piles of toppled barrels are being picked apart barrel after barrel to salvage those that remain intact, and repairs are being made to homes and wineries that suffered damage.

The after-effects of a disaster like this are usually quite predictable. Losses are tallied, tears are shed, and people move on.

But something unusual is going on in Napa in addition to all the typical fallout from a serious earthquake. Things are getting wetter. A lot wetter.

According to the Press Democrat, as well as winemaker Carole Meredith, whose Facebook post alerted me to the situation, the earthquake has resulted in dramatically increased stream flows throughout Napa and Sonoma, with some levels approaching the kinds of flows only seen in Spring.

Apparently increased flow from springs and changes in groundwater availability are common following large earthquakes, and don’t often last. Calling this a silver lining to an otherwise unfortunate situation might be going a bit far, but in this time of unprecedented drought, no one is complaining.

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