Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Torrential rain doesn’t let California down

LOS ANGELES ( Associated Press) – Torrential rain lashed California Tuesday, where a series of storms continued to drench highways and breach shorelines with heavy surf, turning rivers into torrential flood zones and prompting residents to evacuate. force to. Thousands of people in cities with a history of avalanches. At least 14 people have died since the storm began last week.

The storm prompted the issuance of tornado watches early Tuesday and heavy snow was forecast in the Sierra Nevada after 14 inches (36 cm) of rain fell across higher regions of central and southern California.

Forecasts indicated that after a brief respite, a new storm would hit the state starting Wednesday, adding to the difficulties and further saturating land already at risk of flooding and torrential rains.

The storms left transportation chaos in their wake, threatening coastal and riverside cities and leaving tens of thousands of people without power. The weather service issued a flood watch for Tuesday for the entire San Francisco Bay Area as well as the Sacramento Valley and Monterey Bay. Areas affected by wildfires in recent years may experience mudslides and debris flows on bare slopes that have not yet recovered a protective layer of vegetation.

According to forecasters, the storm, the most recent extreme weather event of 2023, was expected to drop enough rain to compound ongoing flooding and increase the risk of avalanches.

Forecasters also warned that California could experience wind gusts of up to 60 miles (97 kilometers) per hour at the height of the storm, and rain of up to half an inch (12.7 millimeters) per hour in some areas.

The death toll from a succession of storms that began last week rose from 12 on Monday to 14 on Monday, killing two people, including a homeless man, according to state officials.

State highway officials said Monday night that parts of the state and federal highway network were cut off by flooding, rock or mudslides, heavy snowfall, or damaged cars and trucks. The closures include Federal Highway 101, an important coastal route, and sections of Federal Route 6 and State Route 168.

Evacuation orders have been issued for nearly 32,000 residents living near swollen rivers and streams in Santa Cruz County. The St. Lawrence River was declared in flood state and drone images showed several homes surrounded by muddy water and the top half of cars being tossed out of it.

Most of California remains in severe or extreme drought conditions, although storms have helped fill reservoirs.

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Jenny Haar and Olga R. Rodriguez in San Francisco; Amy Taksin in Orange, Andrew Dalton in Los Angeles; Nick Corey in Aptos, Martha Mendoza in Santa Cruz and Haven Daly in Felton contributed to this report.

Nation World News Desk
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