California braces for another round of storms, but relief may be coming soon


The latest round of rain and snow showers hit California on Sunday, extending the risk of flooding, landslides and whiteout conditions in the storm-devastated state.

Bands of thunderstorms with gusty winds began in northern California on Saturday and moved south as another atmospheric river moved through the state on Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Travel conditions remained hazardous from California to Colorado due to heavy mountain snow and blowing snow, the weather service said.

Waves of heavy rainfall are expected to bring threats of flooding and landslides.

“We’re not done,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Saturday during his visit to Merced County in the central agricultural valley.

Newsom urged Californians to stay alert for a few more days as the last of nine atmospheric rivers were to cross. Stormy weather has already claimed at least 19 lives and a 5-year-old boy was still missing on Sunday after floodwaters swept away from his mother’s car in San Luis Obispo County.

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When will help come to storm-ravaged California?

A change in the weather pattern will begin on Tuesday as dry weather is expected to return to soggy.

“By Tuesday, dry conditions are expected to return as a high-pressure nose patch in California,” said AccuWeather meteorologist Brandon Buckingham.

With the frequency of storms slowing, areas like Sacramento and Fresno will have at least 24 to 36 hours of dry conditions before being hit by another wave of wet weather, according to AccuWeather.

Parts of southern California will also experience a drying trend, but for a longer period, AccuWeather added. After Monday night’s rain showers, cities like Los Angeles and San Diego could see dry weather through late January.

Another storm is forecast for the middle of the week for the rest of the state and the Pacific Northwest, but won’t be as strong compared to the recent surge of storms, Buckingham said.

BEFORE AND AFTER: Images capture the devastation of a series of storms in California

The storm brings dangerous conditions over the weekend

Much of California remained under stormy weather advisories, watches and warnings set to expire Monday or Tuesday.

“Warning, the next round of regular 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 had been lifted on Sunday for about 5,000 residents of semi-rural Wilton in the saturated Sacramento Valley, but a warning remained in place with more rain entering the area and the river level still at a high level, the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services said. .

The strongest winds are expected in the northern San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Nevada, the Sacramento Weather Service said Sunday. An additional three inches of snow was also forecast in the Sierra Nevada.

Interstate 80, a key highway from the San Francisco Bay Area to Lake Tahoe ski resorts, reopened after being closed Saturday due to slippery roads, snow and whiteout conditions.

On Friday, the California Highway Patrol rescued three people whose car slid off a rain-soaked road onto the edge of a cliff in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

“We can’t stress that enough. Please drive ONLY if necessary,” the Highway Patrol said in a statement.

Along the Big Sur coast, Caltrans crews continued to respond to numerous locations on Highway 1 that showed “significant instability following an ongoing rain event,” the Caltrans District 5, which serves Central Coast counties.

In Southern California, many roads remained impassable due to mudslides and rockslides. Two northbound lanes of Interstate 5 in northern Los Angeles County were closed indefinitely after a hill collapsed.

California damage assessments expected to top $1 billion

Authorities have already begun assessing the damage, which is expected to exceed $1 billion.

As heavy rains, mudslides and hurricane-force winds battered the state, California saw flooded homes, torn roofs, breached levees, submerged cars and uprooted trees.

About 14 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Ventura River in southern California from the storms, according to Ventura County health officials. Two sewer lines also leaked into San Antonio Creek this week due to storm damage.

President Joe Biden issued an emergency statement to support the storm response in more than a dozen counties. But Newsom said he was still waiting for Biden to declare a major disaster declaration that would provide more resources.

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Contributors: Christine Fernando and Claire Thornton, USA TODAY; The Associated Press


USA Today

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