‘A very important emergency’: Deadly, record-setting storms in California are about to get an encore


Historic hurricanes that devastated much of California turned entire neighborhoods into lakes, released sewage into floodwaters and killed at least 17 people.

And much more to come. About 5 million people are watching for flooding Wednesday as another atmospheric river is bringing more rain to California.

“The state has been through drought for the past four years, and now we have storm after storm,” California Governor Lt. Eleni Kounalakis said on Wednesday.

“We’ve had six hurricanes in the last two weeks. This is the kind of weather you would have in a year and we compressed it in just two weeks.”

Wednesday’s flood warnings are primarily for Northern and Central California, including Sacramento, North Bay and Redding. That leaves little time for residents in flood-stricken neighborhoods to assess the extent of the devastation before the next storm.

“Everywhere there is only brown water. Caitlin Clancy, a Fenton Grove resident.

“We had a canoe that was tethered, and we thought if we needed to we could paddle out. But it moves too fast.”

A man kayaks through a neighborhood Tuesday in Santa Barbara, California.

The onslaught of recent storms has come from the gathering of atmospheric rivers – long, narrow regions in the atmosphere that can carry moisture thousands of miles away.

“We had five atmospheric rivers flowing into California over two weeks,” said Kounalakis.

“Everything is wet. Everything is saturated. Everything is at a breaking point, and more rain is coming.”

In fact, four more atmospheric rivers are expected to make landfall in California in the next 10 days.

Residents scrambled to pack up their belongings Wednesday before floodwaters rose in Merced, California.

Here’s what’s coming when another wave of severe weather hits the West Coast:

• Coasts of Central and Northern California were flooded with heavy rain again on Wednesday. According to the Weather Forecast Center, heavy downpours are expected to intensify and exceed half an inch of rain per hour in the afternoon.

• Total rainfall as of early Wednesday afternoon could range from 1 to 3 inches. Peak flooding is expected in the North Bay and Santa Cruz Mountains, with more flooding possible.

• Rain will shift north to coastal Oregon and Washington starting Wednesday afternoon, giving Central California a brief pause in rain.

• Rainfall will also hit inland to the Sierra Nevada Wednesday afternoon, dumping up to 10 inches of snow.

• The heaviest rain is expected over the next seven days in parts of northern California, where the National Weather Service predicts an additional 5 to 10 inches of rain.

Rescue teams in San Luis Obispo County are trying to find 5-year-old Kyle Doan, who was swept away from a truck near the Salinas River Monday morning.

Kyle Doan, 5, was last seen Monday in San Miguel, San Luis Obispo County.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said search efforts resumed Tuesday after they were suspended Monday due to weather conditions that were too dangerous for first responders.

“However, the conditions remain extremely hazardous,” the sheriff’s office said on Tuesday. “The water level is high and keeps moving fast.”

The sheriff’s office urged the public to leave the search for experts to avoid the risk of volunteers needing to be rescued.

As another storm hits, many residents are still grappling with the devastation to their communities.

Rachel Oliviera uses a shovel to try to push back the floodwaters and thick mud covering her Felton Grove home.

“It was hard work,” said Oliviera, clearly emotional.

But she cares more about her neighbors, whose homes are also covered in thick mud.

“A lot of us who live in this neighborhood are older and can’t really do the cleaning.”

In the Chatsworth neighborhood of Los Angeles, several people were rescued after a sinkhole swallowed two cars on Tuesday. In Malibu, a large rock collapsed, blocking an important road.

In parts of Santa Barbara County, “the storm caused excess flow through the sewer system, resulting in the discharge of wastewater from the system into the street,” said County Environmental Health Supervisor Jason Johnston. said on Monday night.

The local health department warned the water could increase the risk of illness.

Another sinkhole was reported Monday in Santa Maria of Santa Barbara County, where 20 homes were evacuated, CNN link KEYT report.

“Hurricanes hit us like a water balloon bursting and releasing water into our rivers and creeks. Jason Hoppin, a spokesman for Santa Cruz County, told CNN.

Hoppin said 131 homes in the county suffered significant damage, but could be salvaged, while another five were not.

Recent storms have turned severe after trees fell on homes and cars, rocks and mud fell onto hillsides and floodwaters rose rapidly.

At least 17 people have died in hurricanes in California in the past two weeks alone.

“That’s more than we’ve lost in the last two years of wildfires,” the governor said. “So this is a very important emergency.”

Rebekah Rohde, 40, and Steven Sorensen, 61, were both found “with trees on top of their tents” over the weekend, the Sacramento County Coroner said. Both are deprecated, according to the release.

In the San Joaquin Valley, a tree fell on a pickup truck on Highway 99 in Visalia on Tuesday, killing the driver. The California Highway Patrol said a motorcyclist was also killed after crashing into a tree.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said another driver died after entering a flooded road in Avila Beach on Monday.

“Just 6 inches of water can cause a car to lose control and roll over. Within 12 inches, cars start to drift,” Kounalakis said this week.

“You’ve heard that the creeks have risen 14 feet in the last day alone and in certain areas we’ve had over 1 foot of rain – in the last 48 hours alone. So it is unbelievable.

Rescue teams help stranded residents Tuesday in Merced, California.

Although no upcoming storms are expected to have an isolated impact like the most recent ones, the cumulative impact could be significant in a state where much of the land is already too saturated to absorb any more. rain.

And the ongoing drought in the state has left the landscape so arid that the soil struggles to absorb the incoming rainfall – which can lead to dangerous flash floods.

Scientists have warned the The climate crisis is having a significant impact about California’s weather, increasing the swing between extreme drought and extreme rain.


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