Almost all of California is under a flood watch because of strong storms.
Almost all of California is under a flood watch because of strong storms.

Nearly 26 million people in California, mostly between San Francisco and Los Angeles, were under a flood watch on Saturday. New rain and storms are moving through the state, bringing flooding, mudslides, and traffic jams to areas that have been hit hard by bad weather in recent weeks.

Almost all of California is under a flood watch because of strong storms.

Some low-lying parts of Santa Cruz County, which has been hit hard by the waves of rain, have been told to leave immediately. In a Facebook post, the Santa Cruz County sheriff’s office said that the Rio del Mar Esplanade near Seacliff State Beach flooded on Saturday and that more rain is expected.

At the same time, officials told people to get ready for the next storm. Flood, wind, and high surf advisories were sent out by the National Weather Service to warn people across the state, from Sonoma to San Diego, that dangerous weather is expected until Sunday.

At least 5,800 people have been forced to leave their homes in the last few days in a seven-county area that includes Monterey County. As the rain kept coming down, people in other parts of the state, like Sacramento County, were told to get ready to leave.

Even though it rained less on Saturday than in recent days, it wasn’t much of a relief for people in a state where about 24 trillion gallons of water have fallen since December from a variety of weather patterns called atmospheric rivers. At least 19 people died because of the storms.

Since 2018, California’s winter storms have killed more people than any fire.

Residents are being asked by state officials to be careful as storms that have been causing damage and flooding for weeks keep happening. At a news conference, a state emergency official named Nancy Ward said, “We are not out of the woods yet.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, told people to get ready for the ninth atmospheric river, which will hit on Sunday night and Monday. He also said that erosion and tree damage will keep going even after it stops raining.

“It’s possible that the problems will be very clear over the next few days. “This is especially true because everything is so wet and the ground is so full,” Newsom said. “What may seem less important in terms of the amount of rain may be more important on the ground in terms of the damage, flooding, and debris flow.”

Newsom said that he thought President Biden would sign a major disaster declaration for the state. This will make it possible for the state to get federal money and other help. On Monday, Biden signed off on an emergency declaration, which gives less help.

The drought in California won’t end because of atmospheric rivers.

Flooding closed roads and knocked down power lines, so the California Highway Patrol asked people in the worst-affected areas not to drive.

On Saturday, 1 to 3 inches of rain fell in the lowlands of Central and Northern California because of storms. At the highest points of the Sierra Nevada, the rain turned into snow that was several feet deep.

People who were going to Lake Tahoe for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend couldn’t get there because of heavy, blowing snow in the nearby mountains.

A major way to get to the ski slopes, Interstate 80 was partly closed Saturday morning because of “multiple spinouts,” according to a statement from Caltrans, the California Department of Transportation. Near Donner Summit, a mountain pass just above 7,000 feet in the northern Sierra Nevada near the California-Nevada border, the agency shared photos of almost whiteout conditions.

Look at what heavy rain has done to California.

Storms this severe have prompted a flood watch for practically the whole state of California.
Storms this severe have prompted a flood watch for practically the whole state of California.

A Saturday afternoon update from the National Weather Service said that the Sierras’ higher elevations could get between three and six feet of snow by Monday.

As a result of the storms that hit Los Angeles on Friday, the city’s mayor, Democrat Karen Bass, declared a state of emergency. Los Angeles is the second-most populous city in the United States. This second storm is expected to bring about 0.5 to 1 inch of rain to Southern California, with a bit more in the mountains and hills.

Officials said that even after the rain stops, people in the state will likely still have to worry about mudslides because the ground is so wet.

Saturday, mudslides closed a road in Alameda County. Amtrak said that mudslides near its tracks in Contra Costa County could slow down service.

Since December 20, more than 14 and a half inches of rain have fallen in San Francisco, which is more than four times the average.

On Sunday, it’s supposed to rain less in California. The next storm will hit the Bay Area around 10 p.m. But the next system will bring a lot of rain to Central California on Sunday or Monday.

The National Weather Service office for the Bay Area wrote that the total amount of rain is expected to be between 0.5 and 1.5 inches at lower elevations and between 1 and 3 inches at higher elevations.

The system will keep affecting states in the interior. The National Weather Service says that heavy snow will fall in parts of southeastern Idaho, Arizona, and the Central and Southern Rockies on Monday and Tuesday.

Even though some showers could last until midweek, mostly in Northern California, the weather is expected to be much drier in most places, which will be a welcome change after three weeks of storms.

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