California hit by heavy rain amid another round of storms

California hit by heavy rain amid another round of storms

California hit by heavy rain amid another round of storms

The latest in a series of powerful storm fronts driven by atmospheric rivers hit California again on Saturday as the state continues to deal with heavy rains and flooding that have caused extensive damage and forced thousands of people to evacuate.

At a Saturday press conference in Merced County, California Governor Gavin Newsom said the storms are responsible for at least 19 deaths.

A series of atmospheric rivers – long regions of the atmosphere that carry water – are responsible for the storms that have hit California since December 26. Newsom estimated on Saturday that California has been hit by eight atmospheric rivers so far, with a possible ninth.

California storm damage
A pedestrian walks among driftwood storm debris on Capitola Beach in Capitola, California on January 14, 2023.

Nic Coury/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The governor also felt that between 22 and 25 trillion gallons of rain have fallen across the state since the thunderstorms began a few weeks ago.

“The stacking of these atmospheric rivers, unlike any we’ve seen in our lifetime. The reality is that this is only the eighth of what we expect to be nine atmospheric rivers,” Newsom told reporters. “We’re not done. I know there comes a time in any difficult time when people are tired…I just pray that we maintain our vigilance, our common sense over the next 24 to 48 hours. “

On Saturday, crews were forced to suspend the search for a missing 5-year-old boy who was swept away by floodwaters on Monday in San Marcos Creek, near San Miguel due to rising waters and unsuitable weather conditions. , the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office reported. .

Just over 22,200 customers in California were without power Saturday afternoon, according to tracking site

Flood warnings have been issued for the region north of San Francisco Bay, including Marin, Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

To the south, warnings were posted for parts of the counties, including San Mateo and Santa Cruz, where the small community of Felton Grove along the San Lorenzo River was ordered to evacuate.

The swollen Salinas River flooded farmland in Monterey County, and to the east, flood warnings were in effect for Merced County in the Central Farm Valley.

California storm damage
Pedestrians wade through flood waters in Aptos, California on January 14, 2023.

Nic Coury/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Slippery roads, snow and whiteout conditions plagued the highways of the Sierra Nevada.

The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab tweeted Saturday morning that it received 21.3 inches of snow in 24 hours and that its snowpack of about 10 feet is expected to rise several more feet by Monday.

A backcountry avalanche warning has been issued for the central Sierra, including the greater Lake Tahoe area.

In Santa Barbara County, where a massive flow of debris passed through the community of Montecito killed 23 people on January 9, 2018, residents were told that further evacuations were not planned but should be prepared.

Montecito and adjacent areas were recently ordered to evacuate last Monday, the fifth anniversary of what is locally known as “1/9 Debris Flow”. But the community perched on the foothills of the Coast Mountains escaped serious damage.

Dry days are in the forecast next week for California starting Tuesday.

β€œThe question will then become whether we stay dry until the end of the month? wrote the San Francisco Bay Area Weather Bureau.

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