Evacuation warnings amid California storm flooding

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Residents of a northern California community were ordered to evacuate ahead of impending flooding, and evacuation warnings were in place elsewhere in rural areas of the region on the day New Year’s Day after a powerful storm has brought torrential rain or heavy snowfall. to much of the state, breaking levees, snarling traffic and closing major highways.

Even after the storm passed, major flooding occurred in agricultural areas about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Sacramento, where rivers swelled past their banks and flooded dozens of cars along the way. along State Route 99.

Emergency crews rescued motorists from New Year’s Eve until Sunday morning and the freeway remained closed. On Sunday, crews found a dead person inside a submerged vehicle near Highway 99, Dan Quiggle, deputy fire chief for operations with the Cosumnes Community Service District Fire Department, told The Sacramento Bee.

Sacramento County Authorities issued an evacuation order late Sunday for residents of the low-lying community of Point Pleasant near Interstate 5, citing impending and dangerous flooding. Residents of nearby communities of Glanville Tract and Franklin Pond have been told to prepare to leave before other roads are cut off by rising waters and evacuation becomes impossible.

“Floods from the Cosumnes River and Mokelumne River are expected to move southwest toward I-5 and could reach these areas in the middle of the night,” the office said earlier. Sacramento County Emergency Services. Twitter Sunday afternoon. “Livestock in affected areas should be moved to higher ground.”

North of the state capital, crews removed downed trees from roads and sidewalks as at least 17,000 customers were still without power on Sunday, up from more than 150,000 a day earlier, according to a map in Sacramento Municipal District line.

Near Lake Tahoe, dozens of drivers were rescued on New Year’s Eve along Interstate 80 after cars spun in snow during the blizzard, the California Department of Transportation said. The key route to the mountains from the San Francisco Bay Area reopened early Sunday to passenger vehicles with chains.

“Roads are extremely slippery, so let’s all work together and slow down so we can keep I-80 open,” the California Highway Patrol said on Twitter. Several other freeways, including State Route 50, have also reopened.

More than 4 feet (1.2 meters) of snow had accumulated in the upper Sierra Nevada, and the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area said the heavy, wet snow would cause major delays in the opening of the chair lifts. On Saturday, the resort reported numerous lift closures, citing high winds, low visibility and ice.

A so-called atmospheric river storm dragged a long, wide plume of moisture from the Pacific Ocean. Flooding and landslides closed portions of roads across the state.

Rainfall in downtown San Francisco reached 5.46 inches (13.87 cm) on New Year’s Eve, making it the second wettest day on record, behind a deluge in November 1994, said the National Weather Service. Videos on Twitter showed mud-colored water flowing down the streets of San Francisco, and a staircase in Oakland turned into a veritable waterfall by heavy rain.

In Southern California, several people have been rescued after floodwaters inundated cars in San Bernardino and Orange counties. No major injuries were reported.

With the area drying up on New Year’s Day and no rain expected during Monday’s Rose Parade in Pasadena, spectators have started staking out their seats for the annual flower show.

The rain was welcomed in drought-scorched California. The past three years have been the driest on record in the state, but it takes a lot more precipitation to make a significant difference.

It was the first of several storms expected to cross the state within a week. Saturday’s system was warmer and wetter, while this week’s storms will be colder, said Hannah Chandler-Cooley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

The Sacramento area could receive a total of 4 to 5 inches (10 to 13 centimeters) of rain during the week, Chandler-Cooley said.

Another round of heavy downpours was also forecast for Southern California on Tuesday or Wednesday, the National Weather Service’s Los Angeles-area office said.


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