SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Destructive winds and heavy rains from a powerful ‘atmospheric river’ hit California on Thursday, knocking out tens of thousands of power supplies, causing flash floods and contributing to the deaths of at least two people, including a child. bottom. The house was attacked by a fallen tree.
Authorities ordered evacuations in high-risk coastal areas where 23 people died in landslides in 2018 as a huge storm swept through the state on Wednesday. I warned you to hide in your house, assuming
What struck California was the latest in a series of rapid atmospheric rivers (long steam streams stretching far beyond the Pacific Ocean). It was pulled toward the west coast by a rotating region of rapidly declining barometric pressure known as .
In Sonoma County, Occidental Volunteer Fire Chief Ronald Runaldi said a child believed to be under the age of two died Wednesday night after a tree fell on his home, Press Democrat reported. In Fairfield, a 19-year-old woman died after her car hydroplaned her line on a flooded road and hit a utility pole, police posted on her Facebook.
The storm brought rain to parts of the San Francisco Bay Area where flood warnings had been issued. Forecasters said a peak of the storms was expected in Southern California early Thursday, with the most rain expected in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
“We expect this to be one of the most difficult and impactful series of storms to land in California in the last five years,” said Nancy Ward, director of the California Governor’s Emergency Services Agency. I’m here.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed said at a news conference that the city was “preparing for war.” The crew unclogged storm drains, attempted to move homeless people to shelters, and distributed emergency supplies and ponchos to those who refused to go.
The city distributed so many sandbags to residents that they temporarily ran out of supplies.
Strong winds of more than 85 mph (136 km/h) canceled more than 70 flights at San Francisco International Airport and knocked down trees and power lines. Firefighters rescued a family after a tree fell on their car. The Fire Department reported a “large piece of glass” fell from the Fox Plaza Tower near the Civic Center, but no injuries were reported. The ministry tweeted that it was “very likely” that the damage was wind related.
More than 180,000 homes and businesses in California lost power early Thursday morning, according to poweroutage.us.
The storm is the latest of three atmospheric river storms in the last week to reach drought-stricken conditions. California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency to allow for a quick response and help clean up from another powerful storm that hit a few days ago.
In Southern California, evacuations have been ordered for people living in areas burned by three recent wildfires in Santa Barbara County. Heavy rains are expected in the area overnight, leading to widespread flooding and possible debris flows.
Among the towns ordered to be evacuated is Montecito, five years ago when huge rocks, mud and debris were washed from the mountains through the town to the coastline, killing 23 people and destroying over 100 homes. it was done.
Elsewhere, 45 miles (72 kilometers) of Highway 1 along the coast through Big Sur was closed Wednesday night in anticipation of flooding and falling rocks. Further north, 25 miles (40 kilometers) of Highway 101 was closed after several fallen trees.
With heavy snow expected, especially in the mountains, drivers were asked to stay off the road unless absolutely necessary.
Evacuation orders were issued not only for the area along the Pajarro River, but also for Paradise Park in Santa Cruz County, along the fast-flowing San Lorenzo River. Residents fleeing wildfires in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 2020 packed up as the towns of Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond and Felton were all warned to prepare to evacuate.
Sonoma County officials have issued an evacuation warning for a series of towns along the Russian River.
The storm comes days after heavy rains on New Year’s Eve prompted evacuations in Northern California and several drivers were rescued from flooded roads. Several levees south of Sacramento were damaged and at least four of his people died in the floods.
The storms weren’t enough to formally end the state’s ongoing drought, which is now entering its fourth year, officials say.
Atmospheric rivers, named by researchers in the 1990s, occur all over the world, but are especially important on the U.S. West Coast, where they account for 30% to 50% of annual precipitation, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
– Associated Press writers Janie Har of San Francisco and Sophie Austin of Sacramento contributed to this report.
Above: Canopy of gas station collapsed by high winds in South San Francisco on Wednesday, January 4, 2023. Another winter storm moved into California on Wednesday, bringing more rain and snow to the northern part of the state. It’s dry and the second big storm of the week. This follows a storm that threatened flash floods and severe thunderstorms in the southern United States and brought heavy snowfall to the upper Midwest. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)
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