Northern California sees more rain as the south dries out – Times of India

LOS ANGELES: Storm-ravaged California rushed to clear and repair widespread damage on Wednesday as torrential rain eased in many areas, though thunderstorms brought another atmospheric river to the northern half of the state.
The plume of moisture lurking offshore stretched all the way across the Pacific to Hawaii, making it “a real Pineapple Express,” according to the National Weather Service.
The rains were expected to hit only Northern California, giving the South a break until more wet weather comes by the weekend.
At least 17 people have died in the storms plaguing the state. The figure is likely to rise, Governor Gavin Newsom said Tuesday while visiting the quaint town of Capitola on the Santa Cruz coast, which was hit hard last week by high surf and flooding creek waters.
A pickup truck driver and a motorcyclist were killed Tuesday morning in the San Joaquin Valley when a tree struck by lightning fell on them, authorities said.
More than half of California’s 58 counties have been declared disaster areas, the governor said.
The previous storm that started Monday was one in a series that began late last month and repairing the damage could cost more than $1 billion, said Adam Smith, a disaster expert with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Los Angeles Authority reported. Times.
Crews worked to reopen major highways closed by rockslides, inundated by flooding or smothered in mud, while more than 10,000 people forced to leave coastal towns on the central coast were allowed to return home.
They include Montecito, a wealthy Santa Barbara County community home to Prince Harry and other celebrities, where 23 people died and more than 100 homes were destroyed by a mudslide five years ago.
Still, thousands of people living near rain-swollen creeks and rivers remained under evacuation orders. In the San Joaquin Valley, the raging waters of Bear Creek flooded parts of the town of Merced and neighboring Planada, a small farming community along a highway that leads to Yosemite National Park.
All 4,000 residents of Planada were ordered to leave on Tuesday morning. Neighborhoods were flooded and cars were flooded up to their roofs. Residents who had been ordered to evacuate carried everything they could salvage on their backs as they left in the rain.
Other evacuations were ordered due to levee breaches in parts of Monterey County.
Despite the rain, most of the state remained in extreme or severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The storms may help locally “but won’t solve long-term drought challenges,” he said Rick Spinradadministrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Damage from the storm included swept away roads and coastal businesses that were inundated by six-foot surf that ravaged Santa Cruz County.
Many areas saw unprecedented amounts of rain coupled with raging winds and even hail and lightning that toppled trees and damaged power lines.
More than 75,000 homes and businesses in the state were without power late Tuesday night, according to the website.
Mudslides damaged some homes in expensive Los Angeles hillside areas, while further up the coast a sinkhole damaged 15 homes in the rural community of Orcutt in Santa Barbara County.
Best Actor in a Television Drama Series winner Kevin Costner for “Yellowstone” was unable to attend the Golden Globe Awards in Los Angeles on Tuesday due to the weather. Host Regina Hall said he was sheltering in place in Santa Barbara because of flooding.
In San Francisco, a tree fell on a commuter bus on Tuesday without causing injuries and lightning struck the city’s icon Transamerica Pyramid build without damage. Strong winds also ripped off part of the roof of a large apartment building.
Some people were stranded in small communities that were inundated with water and mud.
“We’re all trapped here,” said Brian Briggs, describing a scary night when the deluge caused mudslides in the remote Matilija Gorge that buried a house and cut off the only road to the nearby one. Ojai. The gorge creek began flooding yards and the surrounding hills, stripped of vegetation in the 2017 Thomas Fire, began tumbling down after dark.
Mudslides dragged sheds, gazebos and outbuildings into the creek, Briggs said. After helping neighbors reach higher ground, he returned home to find his fence was destroyed by mud up to his waist.
A helicopter dropped 10 sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday to help residents of dozens of homes in the canyon.
The wet and stormy weather left California’s large homeless population in a precarious situation. At least two Sacramento County homeless people have died and more than a dozen people have been rescued from a homeless camp on the Ventura River.
Theo Harris, who has lived on the streets of San Francisco since 2016, reinforced his shelter with tarps and zip ties on Tuesday and took his girlfriend in after her tent was flooded.
“The wind has been treacherous, but you just have to wrap up and make sure you stay dry,” said Harris. “Rain is part of life. It’s going to be sunny. It’s going to rain. I just have to put on my boots and not give up.”

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