Helpless citizens scramble in mass exodus to the out-of-doors
By Beth Johnson, Staff Reporter
LOS ANGELES — Sunny skies and high temperatures continue to strengthen, forcing hundreds of thousands of Californians to go outside and enjoy the outdoors.
All of Los Angeles and the surrounding region will be inundated with pleasant, comfortable temperatures and blue, cloudless skies during the month of September, according to the National Weather Crisis Center.
The sunshine began earlier this year, and is expected to continue for the remainder of 2008.
The unrelenting sunny weather is causing widespread evacuation, with waves of home-owners fleeing the indoors in search of parks, beaches, and patios.
The uninterrupted sunshine, which Californians have witnessed almost every day this year, is expected to swathe the state with warmth and light, and is even expected to pour over onto neighbouring Nevada and Arizona.
The extreme sunshine led California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to issue an urgent appeal.
“My message to Californians in the projected impact area is this – wear sunblock, because over-exposure to the sun can cause freckles, tans – even burning.”
Evacuations in Los Angeles’ most sun-prone areas – home to about four million residents – are already underway.
California Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi told the Pundit Thursday that a mass mobilization was well underway.
“Buses are packed, traffic is deadlocked, and flights are delayed as helpless Californians scramble to find ways to deal with this extremely pleasant weather,” he said.
“Everyone is desperate to find a place to sit outdoors, a spot on the beach, a vacant camp site, or a sailboat to rent.”
City officials planned to re-route highway traffic and said fuelling stations would be placed on major roads to facilitate the outdoor exodus.
Forecasters said the sunny weather, which has left more than 400,000 people with glowing tans across the state, threatens to continue unabated into October and November.