Santa Cruz and California go into cleaning mode

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Santa Cruz and California go into cleaning mode

A beach in Santa Cruz is littered with debris after the storm has passed.

It's time to clean up in California after the passage of a ninth atmospheric river. The damage is considerable. These storms not only caused flooding, but also numerous power outages and infrastructure damage. Never mind, the Californians we met would not want to live anywhere else.

In California, the name Santa Cruz normally conjures up a surfing paradise and legendary beaches. But for the past three weeks, this town has been the complete opposite of a postcard.

The beach is littered with tree trunks and other debris left behind by huge waves on their way. The water has also done a lot of damage in the streets closest to the sea.

We meet Tony Borba near the beach, beer in one hand and shovel in the other , in the midst of cleaning up. He moved here five years ago and he would never have imagined such a disaster.

The sea came right up to our neighborhood. Trunks of trees larger than me floated a few blocks away, he says.

The damage is significant, but nothing to make him regret his choice to be came to live in one of the most desirable areas of California.

Normally you have a big storm in January and that's it. (…) But sometimes, it's the price to pay to live in such a beautiful place.

California residents survey damage after atmospheric river passes.

A few miles away from there, in the suburb of Aptos, Gary Carr makes the same speech while he cuts branches of the huge red pine that fell on his SUV.

Santa Cruz County remains an amazing place for him to live.

I don't call it climate change, I call it the weather. In recent years we had no water, and here we have. This cycle has always existed, he believes.

The man still counts himself lucky since the tree that collapsed spared his house.

The tree didn't break, it fell. The roots have come out of the ground. He broke part of the fence and, as he fell, dragged the electric wires and blew up the transformer.

In California, it's time to clean up after the passage of a ninth storm in three weeks. The damage is significant. The White House even declared a state of emergency in the state to help it recover from this disaster. The report by our special correspondent Mathieu Gohier.

Jeannie Holmes, a neighbor, joins the discussion. She is delighted to have found the power shortly after the outage.

The teams on the ground were incredible, both those of the electric company and the pruners, recounts. -elle.

The pensioner's home escaped without damage, a relief for her.

I was outside during the holidays and felt helpless, far from my home, says Jeannie Holmes.

Beyond the calls for caution, local authorities have spent the weekend urging Californians to hang in there. After three weeks of historic bad weather and repeated flooding, the fatigue of the victims is palpable.

Near the beach, Isabelle Flores takes a few minutes to get out of her small convenience store which a storefront near the beach and to tell what she lived.

I'm exhausted. All that water inside and out… she let out a sigh.

California is trying to return to some normality after three weeks of historic bad weather and repeated flooding.

Same story about twenty minutes drive further north, in the mountains of the small town of Felton.

Melissa Santangelo apologizes as tears well up in her eyes when she tells us about her last week.

Broken trees have deprived her of electricity for almost a week and the shops in the village are starting to run out of propane, essential for cooking when the no power.

Before, the sound of the rain relaxed me, now it causes me anxiety. I try to let go, but it's really hard. I've never seen anything like it in 23 years here, the woman tells us.

Despite floods, landslides or power outages, everyone here cared for us say how much they love their corner of California. Even if since the beginning of the year, the Californian dream has been tested.

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