At first glance, the sudden rains brought by El Nino seem like a blessing for the drought-ridden state of California. Upon looking closer, however, it’s clear that not all is well in the Golden State.
First, the Bay Area popcorn factory Kettlepop was forced to close down due to a mouse infestation. According to CBS Local, it’s likely that the infestation was caused by the downpour of rain resulting from El Nino.
General Manager Aaron Reimer explained that employees in the Benicia factory have been seeing mice around the factory for a while now, and the company has been closed for the past two weeks while pest exterminators clear up the problem. Considering that one mouse is capable of producing as many as 100 droppings per day, and this waste carries tons of microscopic bacteria, it’s a good thing that the factory decided to close.
But while Kettlepop has ensured that it won’t be tied to any cases of food poisoning any time soon, El Nino has spurred the growth of another poisonous culprit: wild mushrooms. According to CBS News, California residents are starting to discover that the rains have caused deadly mushrooms to sprout.
While most people know well enough to stay away from these toxic plants, pets aren’t quite so knowledgeable about the mushrooms. Veterinarians throughout the Bay Area have already begun to see many household pets (especially dogs) come in with mushroom poisoning; at least one furry patient per week, in some offices.
Finally, a certain stretch of coastal real estate between San Franisco and Half Moon Bay is hanging — quite literally — on the edge of destruction. A row of apartments overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Pacifica, CA are in such peril of collapsing that officials have ordered residents to pack their belongings and leave.
According to The New York Times, the heavy rains and coastal waves have “accelerated” erosion along certain coastal bluffs.
Mike Cully, the chief building official, stated that 20 apartments in the Pacifica bluff are expected to crumble down sooner rather than later. “Cavities in the bluff are forming to the south, west and north of the building and these critically over-steepened slopes are anticipated to fall back to more stable profiles in the next several days,” Cully explained.
California’s drought certainly wasn’t the ideal living situation for state residents, but it’s clear that El Nino isn’t exactly helping things.