Governor Newsom says California is ‘soaked’, more storms expected
Gov. Gavin Newsom looked at storm damage from heavy rains that caused flooding, landslides and sinkholes in California.
Cody Godwin, USA TODAY
Rain-soaked Californians get another round of storms over the weekend that threaten more flooding, mudslides, hail and heavy mountain snow.
The stormy weather comes as recovery efforts continue in the state, which has been battered by atmospheric river storms since late December, leaving at least 19 dead.
A 5-year-old boy was also missing Saturday after being swept away from his mother’s car by floodwaters earlier in the week. Local authorities temporarily called off the search for boy Kyle Doan on Saturday afternoon due to “inappropriate” weather. the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook.
Forecasts show that rain will hit rural Northern California particularly hard this weekend. Previous storms have drenched and damaged the densely populated San Francisco Bay Area and surrounding coastal communities.
“Any rain falling on saturated and unstable soil will increase the risk of new landslides and debris flows,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff said.
Flooding in Napa, mudslide reported near Dublin, California
There were already reports of significant flooding in parts of Napa County, the heart of Northern California’s wine region, on Saturday. according to the county sheriff’s office. Flood warnings were issued north of San Francisco Bay, including Napa, Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino counties. A mudslide has closed roads near Dublin, Calif., according to the California Highway Patrol.
Atmospheric rivers, sometimes called “rivers in the sky”, form when a line of warm, moist air, usually coming from nearby islands across the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast, falls as heavy rain when it reaches cooler air over land.
Another atmospheric river expected to hit the state on monday.
“I know how tired you all are,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday, urging caution ahead of incoming storms. “Just be a little more vigilant next weekend.”
California weekend storm forecast
The storm is expected to peak on Saturday as it moves inland throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service.
- More flood risk: With the ground already saturated from previous rainfall, more flooding and possible landslides are expected across the state through Monday, according to the weather service forecast.
- Heavy snow: Heavy mountain snow of 3 to 6 feet and strong winds are also forecast to create whiteout conditions in the mountains of Northern and Central California, making travel nearly impossible. UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Lab reported Saturday morning that it had received 21.3 inches of snow in 24 hours, and that the snowpack of about 10 feet is expected to grow several more feet by Monday.
- Strong winds: Wind warnings are also in effect Saturday for coastal California and the Central Valley with sustained winds of 20 to 30 mph and gusts of 50 mph.
- Power outages: The stormy weather could bring down more trees and more power outages Saturday, said David Lawrence, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Households without power dropped to about 25,000 Saturday night from about 68,000 at one point during the day, according to poweroutage.us.
“People will become complacent, but the earth is saturated. It’s extremely, extremely dangerous,” Nancy Ward, director of the governor’s emergency services, said at a news conference Friday. “And that water could continue to rise well after the storms have passed.”
Damage estimates in California are expected to exceed $1 billion
Authorities have already begun assessing the damage, which is expected to exceed $1 billion.
As torrential rain, mudslides and hurricane-force winds swept the state, California saw flooded homes, roofs ripped off houses, breached levees, submerged cars and uprooted trees.
About 14 million gallons of sewage spilled into the Ventura River in southern California as a result of the storms, according to Ventura County health officials. Two sewer lines also leaked into San Antonio Creek this week due to storm damage.
California, has been suffering from drought for a long time, reported a total of more than nine inches of rainfall on average across the state over the past 18 days. Some parts of the state have already reached their average annual rainfall, Lawrence said.
President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration Monday in support of the storm response in more than a dozen counties. But Newsom said he’s still waiting for Biden to announce a major disaster declaration that would provide more resources.
Recovery continues after tornado rips through Alabama, Georgia
As severe weather continues to besiege California, The South is recovering from a series of deadly tornadoes.
Recovery efforts continued over the weekend after multiple tornadoes ripped through the South, killing at least nine people in Alabama and Georgia.
Residents salvaged items fridayand rescue teams searched the rubble for survivors, sometimes digging into collapsed homes to free trapped residents.
Thursday’s massive storm toppled mobile homes, uprooted trees, collapsed buildings, snapped poles and derailed a freight train.
Tornado damage was reported in at least 14 counties in Alabama and 14 in Georgia, according to the National Weather Service. At least 35 possible tornadoes were reported in the southeast, Federal Emergency Management Agency officials said.
Meteorologists say it could take days to fully understand the storm’s strength.
Among those killed in the storm was a Georgia Department of Transportation employee and a 5-year-old child who was riding in a vehicle struck by a falling tree in Georgia, officials said.
The child has been identified as Egan Jeffcoat by his grandmother, ABC News reported. His mother, Tabatha Anglin, was not injured, the grandmother said, but another adult in the car was critically injured, Buttes County officials previously said.
A Fundraising because Egan’s mother had raised nearly $20,000 on Saturday. His mother had picked him up from school early so they could get home before the storm, but a tree fell on the car, killing Egan, according to the fundraiser, which was confirmed by GoFundMe.
“His mother was a single mother and Egan was her whole world,” the fundraiser reads.
Dig Deeper: More flood coverage
Contributing: Marty Roney, Montgomery Advertiser; Associated Press
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