One other ‘atmospheric river’ storm renews flood risk in California By Reuters


© Reuters. Excessive water ranges brought on by stormwater flood Discovery Park, situated within the convergence of the Sacramento River and the American River, in Sacramento, California, U.S. January 4, 2023. REUTERS/Fred Greaves


By Sharon Bernstein and Steve Gorman

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) – Emergency crews braced for the following bout of excessive winds and torrential rains forecast to brush California beginning on Wednesday, renewing the specter of energy outages and flooding that struck elements of the state over the New Yr’s weekend.

The most recent “atmospheric river” – an airborne present of dense moisture flowing from the ocean – was anticipated to drench a lot of California forward of a Pacific storm entrance bringing extra showers to low-lying areas and extra snow to the Sierra Nevada Mountains by means of Thursday.

Authorities warned that heavy downpours would possible unleash flash flooding and mudslides, particularly in areas the place the bottom stays saturated from rains that soaked northern California days earlier. Hearth-ravaged hill slopes are additionally notably weak to slides.

The Nationwide Climate Service additionally posted high-wind warnings throughout the San Francisco Bay space and central California coast, with gale-force gusts anticipated to knock down tree limbs and energy strains, disrupting electrical energy service in lots of areas.

Showers fell throughout Southern California early within the day on Wednesday, slickening freeways throughout the morning Los Angeles-area commute, however rains have been anticipated to achieve peak depth on Thursday morning.

Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Wednesday to help the state’s winter climate hazards response, and activated California’s flood operations heart.

The governor’s Workplace of Emergency Companies stated it had pre-positioned crews in three counties more likely to be hardest hit by flooding – Marin, Butte and Sacramento – and in 5 counties dealing with heightened mudslide threats the place earlier wildfires have stripped hillsides of vegetation. However “burn scars” in different elements of the state have been additionally in danger.

State Pure Sources Secretary Wade Crowfoot urged residents in high-risk areas to remain indoors until they’re ordered to evacuate, and to organize for energy outages by charging electrical units and having flashlights and candles helpful.

Sacramento County crews have been nonetheless out on Wednesday repairing levee breaches alongside the Cosumnes River, close to Sacramento, the place flooding final weekend closed Freeway 99, Crowfoot stated at a information briefing within the state capital.

The most recent spherical of utmost climate was the second in a collection of probably damaging storms anticipated to hit the state over the following seven to 10 days, Nancy Ward, director of emergency companies, informed reporters. The state operations heart had been positioned at its highest stage, she stated.

“We anticipate that this can be one of the vital difficult and impactful collection of storms to the touch down in California within the final 5 years,” she stated.

Whereas forecasts name for heavy rain and snow to taper off by late Thursday in California, coastal showers have been more likely to linger over the Pacific Northwest into Friday morning, in keeping with the NWS.

Snow from the West Coast was anticipated to unfold on Wednesday into the Nice Basin, and prolong into elements of the Southwest and central Rockies by Friday, the climate service stated. A separate storm system hovering on Wednesday over elements of the Midwest was forecast to float off the East Coast by Friday.

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