After more than a week of successive storms that have brought floods, landslides, and high winds, California is facing down new flood warnings and widespread power outages. The state is set to get more rain today and tomorrow, according to a forecast from the National Weather Service.
“The cumulative effect of successive heavy rainfall events will lead to additional instances of flooding,” the alert warned. “This includes rapid water rises, mudslides, and the potential for major river flooding.”
A combination of already rain-soaked ground and incoming rain has sparked flood warnings and advisories in multiple counties. “A Flood Advisory has been posted for a large portion of the Sacramento Valley, northern San Joaquin Valley and surrounding foothills until 6 PM. Moderate to heavy rain will lead to rises on area creeks and streams, and areas of roadway flooding,” the Sacramento National Weather Service account tweeted on Monday.
In response to the destruction caused by the consecutive storms, President Joe Biden declared an emergency in California on Sunday. The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Homeland Security to provide disaster relief to the affected counties. This weekend’s declaration covers support for 17 counties, including Los Angeles and Sacramento counties.
Streets in San Francisco flooded over the weekend, prompting the city’s Department of Emergency Management to ask residents to avoid travel if possible. The Sacramento and Stockton school districts canceled classes today due to the bad weather and risks associated with traveling, the New York Times reported.
Large trees were uprooted in the affected counties, as were power lines and homes. As of this writing, more than 122,000 customers in California are without power, according to Poweroutage.us. Del Norte, Mendocino, and Yolo counties have the highest rates of outages. More than 37,000 customers are currently without power in Sacramento county. This past Friday, more than 76,000 customers out of 13 million were without power.
Last week’s storm came from a third consecutive atmospheric river that reached the state since late December. Oakland and San Francisco saw especially bad flooding last week, NPR reported. San Francisco saw some mudslides that temporarily shut down some roads in the middle of the week.
Last week’s downpours did come with a small silver lining: Parts of central California are no longer experiencing exceptional drought, ABC News reported last week. But many parts of California are still experiencing severe and extreme drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The storms also dumped snow on California’s mountains. A recent survey by the California Department of Water Resources found more than 55 inches of snow near Lake Tahoe. If that snow sticks around, it’ll melt in the springtime and give the state’s waterways a much-needed boost.