California is bracing for another round of storms, but relief may be coming soon
The latest round of rain and snow fell in California on Sunday, raising the risk of flooding, mudslides and whiteout conditions in the storm-ravaged state.
According to the National Weather Service, thunderstorms along with gusty winds hit northern California on Saturday and moved south as another atmospheric river moved through the state on Sunday. Travel conditions from California to Colorado remain hazardous due to heavy mountain snow and blowing snow, according to the weather service.
The torrential rain is expected to cause flash floods and landslides.
“We’re not done,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Saturday during a visit to Merced County in central farmland.
Newsom urged Californians to stay alert for a few more days as the last of the nine atmospheric rivers pass through. Stormy weather left at least 19 people dead and a 5-year-old boy missing in San Luis Obispo County on Sunday after flash floods swept away his mother’s car.
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The weather will begin to change on Tuesday as the dry weather is expected to turn wet.
“Dry weather is expected to return to California on Tuesday in the form of nasal patches of high pressure,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.
According to AccuWeather, if the frequency of storms slows down, areas like Sacramento and Fresno will experience at least 24 to 36 hours of dry conditions before experiencing another wave of wet weather.
Parts of Southern California will also have a drier trend, but for a longer period of time, AccuWeather added. After Monday night’s rain, cities like Los Angeles and San Diego could see dry weather through the end of January.
Another storm is forecast for the rest of the state and the Pacific Northwest by midweek, but will not be as strong as the recent storm, Buckingham said.
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The storm will bring dangerous conditions through the weekend
Weather advisories, watches and warnings for most of California will end on Monday or Tuesday.
“Note that the next round of steady rain is slowly spreading inland. Fortunately, it won’t be as intense as yesterday,” the San Francisco Bay Area Weather Service said Sunday.
An evacuation order for about 5,000 residents of Wilton, a semi-rural town in the saturated Sacramento Valley, was lifted Sunday, but a warning remained in place as more rain hit the area and river levels remained high, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office said. Emergency services reported. .
The Sacramento Weather Service reported strong winds for the northern San Joaquin Valley and Sierra Nevada on Sunday. An additional three inches of snow is also forecast for the Sierra Nevada.
Interstate 80, the main highway from the San Francisco Bay Area to Lake Tahoe ski resorts, has reopened after being closed Saturday due to slush, snow and whiteouts.
On Friday, the California Highway Patrol rescued three people after their car slid off a rainy road onto the edge of a cliff in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
“We cannot stress this enough. Drive ONLY if necessary,” said the message of the Highway Patrol Police Service.
Along the Big Sur coast, Caltrans crews continued to respond to multiple locations on Highway 1 that showed “significant instability following sustained rain” in Caltrans District 5, which serves the Central Coast counties.
Mudslides and rockslides have left many roads impassable in Southern California. Both northbound lanes of Interstate 5 in northern Los Angeles County were closed indefinitely after a roof collapsed.
Damage estimates for California are expected to exceed $1 billion
Authorities have begun assessing the damage, which is estimated to exceed $1 billion.
As heavy rains, mudslides and hurricane-force winds ravaged the state, California saw homes flooded, roofs ripped off, roads torn up, cars submerged and trees uprooted.
According to Ventura County health officials, the storm spilled about 14 million gallons of sewage into the Ventura River in southern California. Two sewer lines burst into San Antonio Creek this week as a result of the storm.
President Joe Biden issued an emergency statement in support of the storm response in more than a dozen counties. But Newsom said he was still waiting for Biden to issue a major disaster declaration that would provide more resources.
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Contributors: Christine Fernando and Claire Thornton, USA TODAY; Associated Press
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