U.S. Northeast, Midwest hit by big storms; West Coast recovers from ‘bomb cyclones’

Much of the U.S. is dealing with powerful storms that brought extreme winds and rain that triggered floods and mudslides. Governors of New Jersey and New York declared emergencies over the storms. Americans in the Midwest are also recovering from tornadoes, and drought-stricken California was pummeled by “bomb cyclones.” John Yang has our report.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The U.N.'s Environment program reports that existing commitments from the world's biggest emitters still fall short of what is needed.

    Much of the nation is dealing tonight with powerful storms that have brought extreme winds and rain and triggered floods and mudslides.

    John Yang has our report.

  • John Yang:

    An early nor'easter brought heavy rains and intense winds to the Northeast today, the governors of New York and New Jersey declaring emergencies.

  • Man:

    Look at this strong tornado.

  • John Yang:

    In the Midwest, residents in Missouri and Illinois were only beginning to assess damage from a string of tornadoes that touched down Sunday, all as the West Coast also tries to recover from two storms that converged this past weekend, bringing record-setting rains to an area suffering a historic drought.

    One was a bomb cyclone, a storm that intensifies quickly as the atmospheric pressure drops. The other was an atmospheric river, a long plume of moisture pulled in from the Pacific Ocean. With them came high winds, sounding an eerie whistle from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, heavy rains, which downed trees and knocked out power to 380,000 customers.

  • Rick Prinz, Homeowner:

    It hit our master bedroom in the corner and dropped over the house, on our cars.

  • John Yang:

    And flash flooding that blocked cars on highways and streets, and lead to rock and mud slides.

  • Woman:

    We have lived here 20 years, never seen it this high.

  • Man:

    My whole garage is up to my kneecaps. Everything is floating around.

  • John Yang:

    Electricity to most of those California customers has now been restored, and, in the short term, the rains may have helped douse some of the state's wildfires.

    But it's unclear how much they will help with the long-term drought. Scientists say more frequent and severe weather like this is a symptom of a warming planet and likely to continue.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm John Yang.

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