Photos Show Storm Damage in California as State Braces for More Bad Weather

Photos Show Storm Damage in California as State Braces for More Bad Weather

California has been battered by successive winter storms since late December.

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In an aerial view, a tree and utility pole are seen resting on Nicasio Valley Road after being toppled by high winds on January 05, 2023 in Nicasio, California.
In an aerial view, a tree and utility pole are seen resting on Nicasio Valley Road after being toppled by high winds on January 05, 2023 in Nicasio, California.
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

California was hit by yet another winter storm this week, and communities across the state are still assessing and cleaning up the damage.

The storm rolled over California on Wednesday, bringing winds up to 85 miles per hour and canceling flights at the San Francisco International Airport, the Associated Press reported. It felled trees, damaged power lines, and sparked flood warnings. As of this writing, there are more than 76,000 customers out of 13 million without power, according to PowerOutage.us. The most affected areas are those directly along the coast, including Humboldt, Mendocino, and Sonoma counties.

Areas such as Santa Cruz experienced strong waves from the storm, damaging seaside properties, KSBW Action News reported. Residents along the Santa Cruz Wharf were under evacuation orders on Thursday.

The rainfall may not be over. “Multiple winter storms will continue through next week. Widespread moderate-heavy rain returns this weekend, followed by a stronger storm Mon-Tues, bringing continued flooding concerns,” the Sacramento National Weather Service tweeted Friday. San Francisco’s Department of Emergency Management confirmed in a tweet that the area may continue to see more rain for the rest of this week. The department urged residents to report downed trees and flooding to 311.

This week’s storm came from the third atmospheric river to reach the state since late December. The severe conditions have felled trees and damaged homes. Cities across Northern California like Oakland and San Francisco saw especially bad flooding last week, NPR reported. Last week’s storm system then moved east, to central U.S. states. The “multi-hazard” storm sparked heavy rain, hail, and especially strong winds in states like Arkansas and Louisiana, CBS News reported. San Francisco saw some mudslides that temporarily shut down some roads.

All this precipitation has somewhat changed the drought conditions in the usually arid state. Parts of central California are no longer under exceptional drought, ABC News reported. But this doesn’t mean the drought is over: Most of the state is still seeing moderate to severe drought conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The recent storm also dumped snow on top of California’s mountains, giving the snowpack a much-needed boost. The California Department of Water Resources conducted its first manual snowpack survey for 2023 this week at Phillips Station near Lake Tahoe. They found more than 55 inches of snow, making this the highest snowpack recorded in four decades for this time of year. State officials are only tentatively excited for now. In early 2022, there was several feet of snowpack, but by the last survey at the end of winter, the area around Lake Tahoe only had about 2.5 inches of snow. If the recent snow sticks around, it will melt come spring and give the state’s reservoirs the extra water they badly need. 

Click through for a glimpse of how California is holding up after yet another storm.

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Storm damaged road

Storm damaged road

Firefighters patrol a neighborhood after it was flooded from large waves at high tide on January 05, 2023 in Stinson Beach, California.
Firefighters patrol a neighborhood after it was flooded from large waves at high tide on January 05, 2023 in Stinson Beach, California.
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)
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Fallen power lines

Fallen power lines

A utility pole rests on Nicasio Valley Road after being toppled by high winds on January 05, 2023 in Nicasio, California.
A utility pole rests on Nicasio Valley Road after being toppled by high winds on January 05, 2023 in Nicasio, California.
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)
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Knocked down trees

Knocked down trees

In an aerial view, a tree and utility pole are seen resting on Nicasio Valley Road after being toppled by high winds on January 05, 2023 in Nicasio, California.
In an aerial view, a tree and utility pole are seen resting on Nicasio Valley Road after being toppled by high winds on January 05, 2023 in Nicasio, California.
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)
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Cleanup crews

Cleanup crews

San Francisco Department of Public Works employees use chainsaws to cut up a tree that was toppled by high winds on January 05, 2023 in San Francisco, California.
San Francisco Department of Public Works employees use chainsaws to cut up a tree that was toppled by high winds on January 05, 2023 in San Francisco, California.
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)
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Post-storm road cleanup

Post-storm road cleanup

A Marin County firefighter looks on as a backhoe removes sand from a street after large waves flooded a neighborhood on January 05, 2023 in Stinson Beach, California.
A Marin County firefighter looks on as a backhoe removes sand from a street after large waves flooded a neighborhood on January 05, 2023 in Stinson Beach, California.
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)
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Damaged seaside

Damaged seaside

A parking lot at Seacliff State Beach is damaged by heavy storm surge, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Aptos, California.
A parking lot at Seacliff State Beach is damaged by heavy storm surge, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Aptos, California.
Photo: Nic Coury (AP)
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Shoreside cleanup

Shoreside cleanup

Two men tend to a sailboat that broke anchor at Porto Bodega and wound up on the rocks during a storm in Bodega Bay, California, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.
Two men tend to a sailboat that broke anchor at Porto Bodega and wound up on the rocks during a storm in Bodega Bay, California, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.
Photo: Christopher Chung/The Press Democrat (AP)
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Storm-wrecked restaurant

Storm-wrecked restaurant

Kitchen manager Josh Whitby inspects the wreckage of Zelda’s on the Beach in Capitola Village after the restaurant sustained major damage from the storm on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Capitola, California.
Kitchen manager Josh Whitby inspects the wreckage of Zelda’s on the Beach in Capitola Village after the restaurant sustained major damage from the storm on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Capitola, California.
Photo: Shmuel Thaler/The Santa Cruz Sentinel (AP)
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Inundated backyards

Inundated backyards

Yards along Soquel Creek in Capitola Village are flooded by storm surge on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Capitola, California.
Yards along Soquel Creek in Capitola Village are flooded by storm surge on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Capitola, California.
Photo: Shmuel Thaler/The Santa Cruz Sentinel (AP)
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Storm waves damage piers

Storm waves damage piers

Powerful storm waves roll into Seacliff State Beach between the Cement Ship and the heavily damaged pier on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Capitola, California.
Powerful storm waves roll into Seacliff State Beach between the Cement Ship and the heavily damaged pier on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, in Capitola, California.
Photo: Shmuel Thaler/The Santa Cruz Sentinel (AP)
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Storm-ravaged seaside

Storm-ravaged seaside

The Capitola Wharf is seen damaged from storm waves in Capitola, California, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.
The Capitola Wharf is seen damaged from storm waves in Capitola, California, Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.
Photo: Nic Coury (AP)
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