Sunday, July 22, 2018
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Wildfires and floods ease across US

Flood waters finally recede in Texas and firefighters make gains against bushfires in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Relief is in sight for the flood-weary people of Texas as skies clear across much of the state after weeks of heavy and steady rains. Meanwhile, mandatory evacuations in California have been lifted after firefighters forced back fires in the south of the state.

The floods in Texas are still going on and several people were rescued on Sunday. They were later transferred to nearby shelters.

The good news is that dry weather is finally moving across the Sothern Plains. However, Mark Null, hydrologist-in-charge of the National Weather Services' West Gulf River Forecast Center, said: "It's going to be a slow drain."

Further east, Tropical Storm Colin is racing towards the Florida Peninsula threatening flash floods across a good part of the state. It is moving quickly, but Colin could drop up to 200mm of rain over some areas over the next 48 hours.

Such rainfall wouldn't go amiss along the West Coast where fires continue burning. A fast moving bushfire still rages outside Los Angeles threatening homes in the affluent city of Calabasas.

About 5,000 people were forced from their homes on Saturday, but fire officials lifted the mandatory evacuations on Sunday. About 400 firefighters are still battling the blaze, and helicopters and air tankers have been making water drops.

The firefighters are beginning to get the upper hand, but warmer weather is still a possibility over the next few days. There is no significant rain in the forecast.

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