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L.A. County to experience bursts of rain

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The National Weather Service is expecting bursts of rain to wash over Los Angeles County, starting early Monday and continuing through Wednesday. The latest winter storm system is projected to bring the heaviest rain and potential flooding along the Central Coast. While the forecast doesn’t come close to the historic storm that hit the region earlier this month, experts are still warning residents to prepare for intense showers during the day on Monday and Tuesday night.

According to meteorologist David Gomberg, the region is expected to receive much less rain compared to the previous storm. Regardless, there are worries about flooding and possible mudslides due to the saturated ground from the recent heavy rain. Forecasters project downtown Los Angeles to receive up to 2.4 inches of rain, with Santa Clarita expecting 2.19 inches, Long Beach 1.8 inches, and Torrance 1.97 inches over the next three days.

The slow-moving storm system has already begun to make its way into the Central Coast, bringing light rain to Santa Barbara and western San Luis Obispo counties. A more powerful wave of the storm is anticipated to hit the coast on Sunday, bringing with it the likelihood of gusty winds, thunderstorms, and high surf. The Central Coast is expected to bear the brunt of the storm, with Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo hill and mountain ranges projected to receive 8 to 10 inches of rainfall.

The forecast also includes high surf advisories across all beaches in the region, with waves up to 20 feet expected in certain areas. Additionally, strong rip currents and large breaking waves are expected at Morro Bay, Port San Luis, and Ventura harbors. Residents in San Luis Obispo County are also advised to be cautious of potential weak tornado activity during this period.

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The National Weather Service has highlighted Tuesday morning as a primary concern for coastal flooding, especially in Malibu and Santa Barbara. The storm system is being driven by the jet stream, high-altitude winds exceeding 200 mph, which are anticipated to slow down as they approach the coast.

This news is particularly alarming given the heavy rainfall Southern California has already experienced this month, most notably in the Santa Monica Mountains and Hollywood Hills. With the soil already saturated, the risk of flooding, landslides, and mudflows is heightened.

Looking ahead, meteorologist David Gomberg mentioned the possibility of another system arriving from the north next weekend, potentially bringing colder weather to the region. After this current system passes through, Gomberg advises that the state will have a few days to dry out.

The entire Los Angeles County community is encouraged to remain informed and prepared for the impending burst of rain. Residents should stay updated on the latest weather advisories and take proactive measures to ensure their safety and protection from potential flooding and storm-related hazards.

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This article was contributed by Times staff writer Thomas Curwen.

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Immigration in Maine Addressing Labor Shortage Could Set Trend for U.S.

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A significant labor gap in Maine’s lobster industry is being filled by immigrants, shedding light on the critical role that foreign-born workers are likely to play in the U.S. economy as the native-born population ages. Maine, known for its abundant lobster population, is grappling with an aging workforce that is increasingly unable to sustain the demands of the thriving lobster industry, valued at $1 billion.

Ben Conniff, a founder of Luke’s Lobster, underscores the importance of immigrants in sustaining the natural resources economy of the state, as many native-born workers are not inclined towards manufacturing work in food processing. Since its establishment in 2013, Luke’s Lobster has heavily relied on immigrants to staff its lobster processing plant, highlighting the vital role played by foreign-born workers in filling labor gaps.

With Maine boasting the oldest population in the U.S., with a median age of 45.1, the state offers a glimpse into the economic future of America, where immigrants are poised to be a crucial source of new workers and economic vitality in the coming years.

As immigration continues to be a hotly debated topic in the country, the influx of immigrants has been instrumental in boosting the American economy’s potential. The Congressional Budget Office has revised upwards its population and economic growth projections for the next decade, attributing the growth to the wave of newcomers entering the workforce.

Maine’s initiatives to attract and integrate immigrants into the workforce, such as the creation of an Office of New Americans, reflect the state’s proactive approach towards addressing labor shortages. Private companies like Luke’s Lobster have also taken steps to diversify and supplement the aging lobster fishing industry by training immigrants and minorities in lobster fishing and licensing processes.

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Chadai Gatembo, an 18-year-old immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo, exemplifies the success story of immigrants finding opportunities in Maine. Despite facing challenges on his journey to the U.S., Gatembo is now on the path to becoming a full-fledged lobsterman, showcasing the potential for immigrants to thrive in new industries.

The influx of immigrants is not without its challenges, with issues of work authorization and economic stability confronting many newcomers. Adriana Hernandez, a mother of four from Venezuela, highlights the economic hardship faced by immigrants awaiting work permits, underscoring the barriers faced by unauthorized workers in integrating into the labor market.

Despite these challenges, the overall impact of immigration on the U.S. economy is significant. Immigrants have helped to bolster job growth, insulate the economy against downturns, and contribute to a more diverse and innovative workforce. Economists predict that immigration will play a crucial role in addressing labor shortages and demographic shifts as the native-born population ages.

The entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants like Chenda Chamreoun, who has risen from lobster cleaning to a quality assurance supervisor and now aims to start her own catering business, showcases the economic potential of foreign-born workers. Immigrants tend to be more entrepreneurial, adding to the innovation and productivity of the American economy.

J. Edward Moreno contributed reporting from New York, and Zolan Kanno-Youngs from Washington.

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