Second atmospheric river in days sweeps through California, causing power outages and flooding on roads

Second atmospheric river in days sweeps through California, causing power outages and flooding on roads

LOS ANGELES — A second wave of back-to-back atmospheric rivers hit Southern California early Monday, causing mudslides, flooding roads and knocking out power, as the sultry state braces for another wave of heavy rain. There was anticipation of the day.

About 1.4 million people in the Los Angeles area, including the Hollywood Hills and Beverly Hills, were under flash flood warnings Monday morning. Up to 9 inches (23 centimeters) of rain has already fallen in the area, and more is expected, according to the National Weather Service, which called the risk of flash flooding and mudslides an “especially dangerous situation.”

In Northern California, the storm on Sunday flooded roads and downed trees and power lines in the San Francisco Bay Area, where winds topped 60 mph (96 kph) in some areas. Gusts of more than 80 mph (128 kph) were recorded in the mountains.

Just south of San Jose, emergency workers pulled occupants out of the windows of a car stuck in floodwaters and rescued people from a homeless camp along a rising river.

The storm then moved into Southern California, where officials warned of potentially devastating flooding and ordered evacuations of valleys recently burned by wildfires, where the risk of mudflows and debris flows is high.

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“We’ve had flooding, we’ve had high winds, we’ve had everything affected,” said Todd Hall, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service near Los Angeles.

“I’ve been up reporting damage all night, so I’ve seen a tremendous amount of damage and people evacuated from homes due to landslides,” Hall said.

Classes were canceled Monday in schools in Santa Barbara County, which was devastated by landslides caused by the powerful hurricane in 2018.

Further down the coast, high winds and heavy rain brought dangerous conditions to the city of Ventura, said Alexis Herrera, who was trying to get his floodwater-laden sedan out of the water. “All the freeways here are flooded,” Herrera said in Spanish. “I don’t know how to drive my car.”

More than 543,000 customers were without power across the state Monday morning, according to

Palisades Tahoe, a ski resort about 200 miles (320 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco, said Sunday it expected the heaviest snowfall so far this season, with up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) per hour and a total of There will be snowfall of up to two feet. 60 centimetres). Heavy snow is expected across the Sierra Nevada on Monday and motorists are urged to avoid mountain roads.

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Much of the state was parched last week by atmospheric river flows, causing flooding and welcome snow in the mountains. The latest storm, also known as the “Pineapple Express” because its plume of moisture extended from the Pacific Ocean to near Hawaii, arrived offshore of Northern California on Saturday, after much of the state faced some form of wind, wave or flooding. Was under surveillance.

Atmospheric rivers are relatively narrow plumes of moisture that form over the ocean and can produce torrential amounts of rain as they move over land.

The weather service issued a rare “Hurricane Force Wind Warning” For the Central Coast, gusts up to 92 mph (148 kph) could occur from the Monterey Peninsula to the northern part of San Luis Obispo County.

Evacuation orders and warnings were in effect for mountain and valley areas of Monterey, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey Horvath urged residents near areas burning in the Topanga and Soledad Valleys wildfires to follow evacuation orders ahead of possible landslides.

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“If you haven’t gone yet, please gather your family, your pets, your medications and leave immediately,” Horvath said at a Sunday briefing. The county set up shelters where displaced people could spend the night.

Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The Governor’s Office of Emergency Services activated its operations center and deployed personnel and equipment to the highest-risk areas.

Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second-largest, said its schools would be open Monday morning, except for Topanga Elementary Charter School and Vinedale College Preparatory Academy.

The weather service estimates up to 8 inches (20 cm) of rain will fall in coastal and valley areas of Southern California, with up to 14 inches (35 cm) of rain expected in the foothills and mountains. Southern California is expected to see heavy to moderate rain through Tuesday.

“The storm will really be on us today,” Hall said. “Unfortunately, there’s really no relief, as this band is stalled right above us and will drop moderate to heavy rain over us throughout the day.”


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