California Braces for Intense Storm and Flooding
Rare High Risk for Flooding
A potentially life-threatening atmospheric river is moving into California, bringing heavy rain and snow. The weather prediction center has warned of “life-threatening flash and urban flash flooding” with rainfall rates of up to an inch per hour. This rare Level 4 of 4 risk of excessive rainfall has expanded to include Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Oxnard in Southern California.
A Month’s Worth of Rain Possible in Los Angeles
Central and Southern California are expected to receive widespread rainfall totals of 3 to 6 inches, which is more than a month’s worth of rain. This storm is anticipated to be as strong as Tropical Storm Hilary from last August.
Evacuation Orders and School Closures
Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for communities in Santa Barbara, San José, Los Angeles, and Ventura County. Residents are being warned of potential “life-threatening” floods and landslides. Several school districts in Santa Barbara County have also canceled classes due to the severe weather.
First Ever Hurricane Force Wind Warning
The National Weather Service in San Francisco has issued its first ever hurricane force wind warning. Widespread winds of 40 to 60 mph are expected throughout the state, with some gusts as high as 95 mph in the foothills and mountains.
Nearly Impossible Travel in the Mountains
Significant snowfall is expected in eastern California and along the Nevada border. Heavy wet snow will make travel above 5000-6000 feet “near impossible,” according to the weather service.
Power Outages and Flight Delays
Over 800,000 customers are currently without power in California. Flight delays and cancellations are affecting San Francisco International Airport, with at least 143 flights delayed and 100 flights canceled.
Sporting Events Affected
NASCAR and PGA have canceled events scheduled in California due to the severe weather. NASCAR moved the Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum from Sunday to Saturday night, and the PGA Tour postponed the final round of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament to Monday.
State Braces for Flooded Roadways and Swollen Rivers
This intense storm follows another storm that brought record rainfall to California. The current storm is slower and expected to stall, resulting in a longer duration of rain. The central and southern coastline of the state, including Los Angeles and San Diego, are expected to see the most significant amounts of rain and flooding.
Preparations and Response Efforts
California Governor Gavin Newsom has activated various response efforts, including winter equipment, swift water rescue teams, and California National Guard members. The state has prepositioned over 7 million sandbags and is prepared to provide shelter and food for over 37,000 people.
Dangerous Impact from Onshore Winds
The impact from powerful onshore winds will be felt across California, affecting nearly 30 million people. Wind advisories and high wind warnings are in effect throughout the state.
Read More of this Story at www.cnn.com – 2024-02-05 02:30:00
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