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FEMA: El Niño Increases Flooding, Landslide Risk In California

Cal Fire PIO Berlant / Twitter

A message from Cal Fire, with the Butte Fire burning in the distance on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015.

Cal Fire PIO Berlant / Twitter

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has released its disaster plan on how it will respond to El Niño weather conditions along the West Coast and in the Southwest this winter. 

The warming of the Pacific Ocean could bring storms triggering flooding, power outages and landslides. 

The FEMA plan lays out specific guidelines for federal, state, local and tribal agencies to follow in coordinating their response. It also emphasizes the coordination of search, rescue and evacuation efforts among emergency agencies.

The disaster plan focuses heavily on California. 

Land scarred by wildfires is susceptible to flooding and landslides. 

One of those areas is in Calaveras County, where the Butte Fire scarred 71,000 acres. Another is in Lake County, where the Valley Fire scorched 75,000 acres. 

California coastal areas could see higher tides of up to 8 feet in late December. 

How El Niño plays out in Nevada will depend on how much rain and snow falls on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. In Arizona, flash flooding and rapid snow melt area concern. 

FEMA is also looking to recruit 500 people in the region who it can call on to respond quickly to disasters.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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