California storm: State braces for flooding amid heavy rain

SACRAMENTO — A powerful winter storm system moved across California on Thursday, disrupting power grids and threatening to bring flash flooding and heavy rain, wind and snow.

Weather conditions worsened overnight across much of the state as the storm, one of several expected to hit the West Coast this month, moved ashore from the Pacific Ocean. Like heavy rain and strong wind San Francisco whips acrossSnow plow drivers race Clear fresh powder In the Sierra Nevada.

A combination of high winds and saturated ground conditions is likely, forecasters warned Plant treesThat led to power outages, but as of Thursday morning, only about 7,000 customers were without power in the state, the monitoring site said. power cut. us. Symbolizing the power of the storm, the wind Blown onto the canopy above a gas station In South San Francisco, a tree fell on power lines near the railroad tracks south of the city. Suspension of train service Thursday morning in Burlingame.

Officials blamed the storm for at least two deaths on Wednesday. In Fairfield, Calif., northeast of San Francisco, a 19-year-old woman died after the car she was driving hit a hydroplane and utility pole. Police said. A 2-year-old child died when a redwood tree fell on a mobile home in Occidental, a rural community in Sonoma County, said fire engineer Josh Certa of the local volunteer fire department.

Three inches of rain fell overnight around Northern California and an inch and a half in Sacramento, weather service meteorologist Johnny Powell in Sacramento said Thursday morning. Wind gusts reached 60 mph in Redding and 50 mph in the Sacramento area, he said.

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Parts of the Southern California coast could see heavy rain late Thursday. That moisture raised the possibility of rapid runoff along the state’s coastal and interior valleys, as well as in areas around the Sierra Nevada foothills and wildfire scars, the weather service advised.

As a result, several school districts around the Bay Area canceled classes Thursday. Some parks across Northern California were partially or completely closed for the day.

Part of the storm Cont of Atmospheric rivers – Channels of moisture from the tropical Pacific Ocean. More rounds of heavy rain expected It will hit California on Saturday and again on Monday.

Scientists don’t know how climate change is affecting the likelihood that atmospheric rivers will fall back on fast-moving fires along California’s coast. Scientists are studying whether global warming will change the trajectory Air carries moisture around the atmosphere.

When such storms are especially severe or come in rapid succession, they can quickly deliver more water to a state that has recently been parched by drought and burned by wildfires.

“This is an extreme weather event and we’re moving from extreme drought to extreme flooding,” said Karla Nemeth, director of the California Department of Water Resources. He told reporters on Wednesday. “What that means is that our trees are stressed a lot. After three years of severe drought, the ground is packed and there is a significant chance of the trees leaning over, creating significant problems.

California has suffered a severe fall this month, with heavy rain and snow providing some relief to the state’s massive agricultural industry. The atmospheric river that drenched the West Coast last week killing at least five people in Oregon. Associated storm Win earlier this weekWidespread flooding in the Bay Area and at least four deaths in California.

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Due to inclement weather, Governor Gavin Newsom announced state of emergency On Wednesday, he said he expects more highway closures, infrastructure failures and forced evacuations in the coming days.

Several communities across California issued evacuation orders Part of San Benito County, south of San Jose, a hydroelectric dam failure was expected to create flooding. Officials in San Francisco Worked to protect Residents had enough sandbags and many students in flood-prone San Mateo County were asked to go home early and stay home Thursday.

Christine Hauser, Victoria Kim And Derrick Bryson Taylor Contributed report.

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