California devastated by record rain, more storms expected

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Downtown Sacramento has been flooded by heavy rainfall.

Mendocino, California:

The seventh consecutive atmospheric river since Christmas dumped more rain into Northern California on Wednesday, providing little relief for a state already beset by flooding, gale-force winds, power outages and entire city evacuations.

While Wednesday’s deluge was relatively minor, with less rainfall and mostly in northwestern California, another atmospheric river was expected to drench most of the state this weekend, said Zack Taylor, a meteorologist with the Weather Prediction Center of California. the National Weather Service.

The storm parade is expected to continue and bring even more heavy rain next week, the weather service said.

That will contribute to record-breaking rainfall.

Downtown San Francisco recorded a phenomenal 13.6 inches (34.5 cm) of rain from Dec. 26 through Wednesday morning, while San Francisco International Airport, the City of Oakland and the City of Stockton all set 16-day records over the same period, the National said. weather service.

Large areas of Central California have had more than half their normal annual rainfall since Dec. 26.

Atmospheric rivers are characterized by dense moisture carried to California from the tropical Pacific Ocean.

Wind gusts shook the trees and rain fell steadily all morning along the coast of Mendocino County, about 160 miles north of San Francisco. Large trees fell and debris was left behind by a raging ocean. The toll was evident along Highway 1, with utility trucks deployed toward power outages.

Dozens of roads in the state were rendered impassable by mudslides and snow as the state’s transportation department on Wednesday urged drivers to stay off the road until crews could clear the road.

The storms have killed at least 17 people since the beginning of the year, California Governor Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.

Another victim was found Wednesday morning, when Sonoma County rescuers found a car 100 yards from a roadway submerged in about 10 feet of flood water containing a dead 43-year-old woman, officials reported.

In Mendocino County, a 68-year-old woman died when she was struck by a tree that fell into her home while she slept, and the 37-year-old driver of a tree care boom truck was killed when his vehicle left the roadway and rolled multiple times, said the sheriff’s department.

The search for a five-year-old boy swept away by raging floods near San Miguel, a small town in Central California, continued Wednesday, the local sheriff’s department said.

Wind gusts downed power lines, knocking out electricity to 54,000 homes and businesses as of Wednesday afternoon, according to data from Poweroutage.us, compared to nearly half a million outages over the weekend.

Many of the evacuation orders issued statewide have been rescinded, but not in the rural Central California town of Planada, where neighborhoods and businesses remained flooded.

The rains helped ease the two-decade drought, but did not end it. Statewide, reservoir storage is just 82% of the average for this time of year, the State Department of Water Resources said, warning that the remainder of the rainy season could underperform and result in below-average rainfall. rainy season.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)

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