California storm cuts power to half a million people


Hundreds of thousands of Californians were without power Sunday, another fallout from storms that have brought deadly flooding in recent weeks and are expected to drench the state again in the coming days.

Rain and snow continued Sunday morning from the atmospheric river that arrived Saturday, bringing the worst weather Saturday night. According to utility tracker, that storm caused more than half a million customers to be without power Sunday — about 4 percent of the 13.1 million California customers served by utilities tracked by the website. By noon Pacific time, the number of outages had dropped to 360,000.

Most of the outages were reported in Sacramento County. where strong winds knocked down trees and power lines. At Sacramento International Airport, gusts reached 70 mph.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District tweeted he was “working as safely and quickly as possible to restore power.”

Sacramento County urged people to avoid the Wilton area “imminent” flood Sunday morning.

In the Bay Area, Mines Tower in Alameda, at 2,932 feet, speed of 99 miles per hourWind gusts reached 85 mph at the Richardson East weather station at 1,109 feet.

Fred Keely (D), the mayor of Santa Cruz, south of San Francisco, said city workers are on standby and ready for water rescues, but he is most concerned about maintaining infrastructure, including storm sewers, drains and ditches. He said in an interview that Santa Cruz is willing to use a National Guard armory to shelter about 500 homeless people and provide tents for those who want to live outside.

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Kiley said his city and state are “on the front line against climate change” and the devastation it brings.

The state has responded as best it can, he said, but Washington hasn’t caught up.

“They’re behind as usual,” Kiley said. “The federal government is stuck with what I call the old-school FEMA response, as opposed to assembling the Army Corps of Engineers and waiting patiently for what we need to do.”

FEMA did not immediately respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment.

Michael Anderson, state climatologist for the California Department of Water Resources, said at a briefing Saturday that storms will begin on December 27th and continue through January 19th. , “and our biggest concerns right now.”

Forecast models disagree on the strength and location of the third, fourth and fifth storms, Anderson said. “But,” he added, “there is a hint that we have something.”

Like its predecessors, the incoming storm is an intense atmospheric river, or deep tropical moisture band. Flooding in low-lying areas, slippery beaches, heavy snow near mountain peaks and winds of over 100 mph are expected.

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) held a news conference at 1 p.m. PT to discuss the storm, his office said.

A massive flood engulfed a California beach town and split a pier in half

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The National Weather Service urged residents to follow local forecasts, avoid flooded roadways and prepare an emergency evacuation kit and plan.

“The duration and intensity of the rain, combined with the cumulative effect of a series of heavy rains in late December, will result in widespread and potentially significant flooding,” the weather service wrote in a Sunday briefing.

California’s Central Valley and near the coast will see 2 to 4 inches of rain, and the foothills will see up to 9 inches by Wednesday. Flood watches are in effect for much of central and Northern California, and wind advisories warn of gusts in excess of 40 to 50 mph.

It has been raining in the state for the past few weeks. An atmospheric river drenched northern and central California on New Year’s Eve, knocking out power and trapping some people in flooded cars.

San Francisco recorded 11.16 inches in 13 days, the city’s wettest since 1871. 5.46 inches of rain fell on December 31 alone, the second wettest calendar day on record since record keeping began in 1849.

“All major headwater rivers are forecast to be near or above flood stage by Monday afternoon/evening,” the Bay Area office wrote. Several rivers may reach record levels.

Photos: Bomb cyclone and atmospheric river hit California

The National Weather Service’s National Center for Precipitation Predictions wrote that some areas could see average amounts that occur only once in five to 10 years. A large area of ​​Central and Northern California has a 40 to 70 percent chance of flooding within 25 miles of any location.

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A winter storm warning is in effect for the Sierra Nevada Monday through Tuesday, with 3 to 6 feet of snow expected at elevations above 6,000 feet. Winds of up to 80 mph are possible in the Sierra Range with gusts of 100 to 130 mph.

Below 7,000 feet, precipitation begins as snow, then turns to rain, and snowpacks fill with water, increasing the risk of avalanches. Temperatures will cool as the rain stops Monday night, and highs will drop below freezing as another batch of rain arrives Tuesday morning.

“Widespread avalanche activity in the mountains” is expected, according to the National Weather Service in Reno. “Major destructive avalanches can occur in different areas.”

It’s raining in California. Does it relieve dryness?

Weather models are showing the possibility of a few thunderstorms Monday night, which could lead to thunderstorms, pose a threat to skiers and increase snowfall rates. Accumulations of more than 5 inches per hour cannot be ruled out at the peak of the storm.

Climatologist Anderson said last week’s rain over California produced “some surprising numbers.”

“What can happen more It’s going to be an impressive next six days,” he said. “You look at these numbers — as big as we’ve had, the relentless pace of the storm and some big numbers.”


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