Another atmospheric river reached storm-battered California on Monday, bringing new fears of flooding, possible landslides and dangerous travel to a state that has wreaked havoc in recent weeks after a string of relentless storms , and killed at least 19 people.
“We’ve lost too many people in these storms and in these waters,” the governor said. Gavin Newsom said in a statement Saturday that residents were urged to prepare for the next round of rain.
The latest storm will bring mountain snow and heavy rain, with 1 to 3 inches more expected in areas already too saturated to absorb more water.
About 8 million people in coastal California, including the Bay Area, remained under a flood watch until Monday afternoon. A slight risk — 2 of 4 — of excessive rainfall and flooding covered much of Southern California, including the Los Angeles metro area, until Monday morning, then dropped to marginal risk throughout the day.
Meanwhile, a winter storm warning has been issued for the Sierra Nevada, with up to 3 feet of new snow possible on Monday.
Residents of Ventura County’s remote Mattilia Canyon were urged to leave Sunday after heavy rainfall of more than 17 inches wreaked havoc and left towering rock and mud mounds more than 40 feet high blocking some roads, isolating residents homes, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said, adding that more than a dozen helicopters had transported more than 70 residents from the area.
In northern San Joaquin County, about 175 residents voluntarily evacuated from mobile home parks Sunday, including by boat, after floodwaters inundated their communities. San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office.
Residents near the Carmel River in Monterey County on California’s Central Coast also received evacuation advisories Sunday night.Residents of Sacramento County have also been warned Wilton area.
“People are tired of evacuation orders. People are tired of seeing Caltrans turn signs that say ‘Detour’ — they’re just generally tired,” Newsom said at a news conference Saturday.
The march of atmospheric rivers — long, narrow regions of the atmosphere that can carry moisture thousands of miles — turned California neighborhoods into lakes, paralyzed highways and prompted the evacuation of thousands.
good news? A much-needed period of dry weather is coming.
“If we hold off until Tuesday, we’ll be looking for quieter weather across most of the state, with a fast-moving additional system arriving late Wednesday into early Thursday. After that, as we move into Later this week, and almost the entire weekend, finally looking for a period of dry weather for most of the state,” a National Weather Service the spokesman said.
Monday will see the latest round of rain slowly wind down from Northern California in the early afternoon to Southern California later in the day.
But for now, the state is bracing for more flooding, mudslides and rescues. State officials said rapid water and firefighters were deployed across the state to prepare for Monday, which could see the heaviest rainfall of the cycle.
About 14 million people were under wind warnings on Monday after gusts reached hurricane strength in high altitude parts of Southern California on Sunday.
As the latest storm looms, President Joe Biden on Saturday approved California’s disaster declaration request, releasing federal aid to supplement recovery efforts in areas of the state affected by storms, flooding and mudslides since Dec. 27.
The federal aid could include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, as well as loans to help cover loss of uninsured home property, according to the White House.
Some isolated higher rainfall rates of 0.5 inches per hour could cause several floods, especially given very wet conditions when atmospheric rivers hit the state in previous weeks.
While this weekend’s rainfall totals will be lower than previous storms, the threshold for flooding is now much lower because the ground is so saturated and conditions are ripe for mudslides and landslides.
According to statistics, since December 30, 402 landslides have been recorded across the state. California Geological Survey.
Rainfall totals in recent weeks have been enormous. San Francisco has had one of the 15 wettest winters on record. By Monday afternoon, the Bay Area could see another 1-2 inches of rain, while the wettest peaks could see as much as 3 inches.
In the south, there are several locations in the Los Angeles area Set Daily Rainfall Records Received 1 to 2 inches Saturday. Southern California could still see backcountry areas that could see heavy rainfall of up to half an inch an hour during the most violent storms.
Parts of Santa Cruz County have received more than 34 inches of rain since Dec. 26, according to county recovery officials. If confirmed by the weather service, Santa Cruz will be among the five wettest winters on record — with the season still a month away.
“Our coastal streams, creeks and rivers are flooding,” said Santa Cruz County Officer David Reed. “And we’re seeing widespread landslides, mudslides and road breakdowns in our mountains.”
“The ongoing storm is definitely tiring – people are starting to worry that what we’re telling them isn’t true, but we have real concerns,” Reed added.
The need for residents to obey evacuation orders and obey road closures is real. Crews across the state have been responding to flooded streets and submerged neighborhoods for weeks.
Storm-related deaths in recent weeks have included a woman whose body was found in a vehicle that was swept into a flooded vineyard, two people who were found with trees on top of their tent, and a child who died in a car accident. A redwood tree fell on the home, along with several others.
In San Luis Obispo County, rescuers were still searching for 5-year-old Kyle Doan, who was rescued from his mother by raging flood waters Monday after their SUV was swept away.
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said rain on Saturday hampered search efforts due to rising water levels in the San Marcos and Salinas Rivers, but crews pulled back to search for the boy Sunday as conditions improved.
People living at higher altitudes may experience heavy snow and road hazards as lower elevations experience heavy rainfall, potential flooding and mudslides.
Up to 3 feet of new snow could fall in the Sierra Nevada on Monday, while the mountains of Southern California could see several inches of snow by early Tuesday.
Flagstaff, Arizona received 14.8 inches of rain on Sunday, breaking the previous record of 8.9 inches set in 1978.
“Heavy snow and high winds have sometimes led to heavy snow and snowy conditions, making travel nearly impossible in the mountains and passes of Central California above 4,000 feet and in Southern California above 5,000 feet,” National Weather Service Say.
Snow could hit the Sierra Nevada mountains at up to 2 inches per hour through Monday morning, the weather service added.
Rain and snow will move into the Four Corners area Tuesday, but localized showers and snow showers are still possible in parts of Southern California Tuesday morning.
Lower elevations in Arizona, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico could see 1-4 inches of snow, while higher elevations could see 1-2 feet.