Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

Tens of millions facing ‘potentially historic’ severe storm

By 37ci3 Feb5,2024

Wet roads in San Francisco

Lights are reflected along a wet street in San Francisco, as atmospheric river storms approached yesterday.

Atmospheric River California: Storms hit San Francisco Bay Area
Tayfun Coskun / Anadolu via Getty Images

Flood warnings continue as 14 inches of rain expected in 48 hours, weather service warns

The total rainfall for parts of Southern California could reach between 8 and 14 inches over a 48-hour period, deepening the risk of flooding as the atmospheric river moves over the state, the National Weather Service said in an updated forecast at 12 a.m. PT (3.a.m ET) today.

“Ongoing showers and thunderstorms will continue to produce very heavy rainfall,” the update said, adding that a high risk of excessive rainfall was likely to continue, with 5 to 8 inches possible today alone.

“Increasingly saturated conditions and ongoing flooding will be further exacerbated by this additional rainfall, continuing the threat for life-threatening, locally catastrophic flash, urban, and small stream flooding, as well as a threat for debris flows and mudslides,” the NWS said.  

Meanwhile, in mountainous regions higher than 5,000 feet between 2 and 3 inches of snow is expected, with winds of up to 60mph creating hazardous whiteout conditions.

Sunday beats Downtown LA rain record for February with 4.1 inches

The deluge of rain falling on Los Angeles is officially record-breaking: Downtown LA received 4.1 inches of rain yesterday, smashing the previous daily record for February of 2.55 inches, set way back in 1927, the city’s National Weather Service station said on X.

It was the third wettest day for February since 1877 and tied for the 10th wettest day overall. The actual wettest day ever was in 1938 when 5.88 inches fell.

A flooded pumpkin patch in Petaluma

Vehicles and farm equipment are flooded at the Mickelson Pumpkin Patch in Petaluma, Calif., yesterday.

The National Weather Service said "the largest storm of the season" would likely begin on February 4.
Josh Edelson / AFP via Getty Images

Heavy rain and snow set to continue, NBC News meteorologist warns

The extreme weather events battering much of California ARE set to continue throughout today and beyond, according to NBC News Meteorologist Michelle Grossman.

Speaking on Early Today this morning, she said: “This continues to be a really tough situation. We’re looking at that life-threatening flash flooding continuing throughout tomorrow, continuous rain, heavy snow — we’re going to be measuring the snow in feet.”

She continued: “And we’re looking at the chance of more mudslides, evacuations and power outages because those winds are going to be gusting.”

Some 38 million people are affected by flood warnings while in higher areas moving into Nevada and Utah some 30 million are under wind alert warnings, she said.

Tomorrow will bring more heavy rain across southern California and more snow in the mountains.

California storm brings down trees across Sacramento

Toppled trees have brought down power lines, wrecked cars and damaged homes in Sacramento, California. KCRA’s Lee Anne Denyer reports.

Almost 700,000 customers without power across California

Some 680,000 homes and businesses were without power in the early hours of this morning, according to the website, which tracks power connectivity nationally.

Power outage California

The worst affected counties were Mendocino, Yuba, Butte and Placer where 51,000 out of 146,000 customers were cut off.

The overall number of disconnections is falling however, from an overnight high of more than 780,000.

16 people rescued as debris flow causes havoc in LA

Firefighters rescued 16 people from Studio City, Los Angeles, late last night after debris carried by heavy rainfall caused significant damage to two homes.

All nine homes on Lockridge Road were evacuated, including pets, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in an update. “Thankfully, no one was injured and there are no medical needs,” the statement said.

Emergency shelter is being offered to the displaced residents if needed. The homes are others in the area are now being assessed by the LA Department of Building and Safety, the Department of Water and gas suppliers.

Between 4 and 8 inches of rain have been forecast overnight.

Rough seas in Santa Barbara

A boat moored offshore is tossed by rough waters as the second and more powerful of two atmospheric river storms arrives to Santa Barbara, Calif., on Sunday.

The US West Coast was getting drenched on February 1 as the first of two powerful storms moved in, part of a "Pineapple Express" weather pattern that was washing out roads and sparking flood warnings. The National Weather Service said "the largest storm of the season" would likely begin on February 4.
David McNew / AFP – Getty Images

San Bernardino County declares state of emergency

San Bernardino County tonight declared a state of emergency due to “extreme” rain and snow expected through Wednesday.

The declaration clears the way for federal and state aid that will likely be needed during and after the storm, the county said in a press release.

“The National Weather Service has predicted catastrophic and life-threatening flooding for the San Bernardino valley and coastal slopes of the San Bernardino mountains tonight through Tuesday with showers chances lasting through Friday,” the press release said. “Travel and commuting will be difficult.”

Residents were also warned of small stream and urban flooding, as well as rising rivers.

The county “is taking all available steps to keep our residents safe and we are making preparations to meet their needs during and after the storms,” county board chair and Third District Supervisor Dan Rowe said in the press release.

Cal State LA tells students to stay home

Cal State Los Angeles doesn’t want students, faculty and staff members risking life and limb to get to its campuses tomorrow, so it’s instructing them to stay put and learn online.

In a letter to the Cal State LA community, President Berenecea Johnson Eanes said that classes tomorrow will be held remotely and that faculty and staff members can work from home if their roles allow it.

Monday events at the main campus on the eastern edge of the city and at Cal State LA Downtown are canceled, and student services will be unavailable, she said.

The president said holding classes exclusively online was “the safest course of action.”

Flooding, vehicle rescues reported in San Fernando Valley area of L.A.

An intersection in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles flooded tonight, stranding several vehicles and those inside them to await rescue, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson said.

The intersection of Oxnard Street and Donna Avenue in the Tarzana neighborhood was put under 2 to 3 feet of water amid heavy rain, the spokesperson, Nicholas Prange, said in an LAFD email alert.

LAFD swiftwater rescue teams were working to pull those people, who were not injured, out of those vehicles, he said. The motorists and any passengers did the right thing by staying put, he said.

“Thankfully the vehicle occupants have remained in their vehicles and not risked going out into the deep water with unpredictable terrain and currents below the surface,” Prange said.

CSU San Bernardino shutters classes tomorrow

California State University, San Bernardino, said classes at its main campus, as well as those at its campus in Palm Desert, would be closed tomorrow.

“Faculty are encouraged to move instruction to virtual modalities and to communicate with students as soon as possible,” the institution said in a notice to staff members and students. “Students should check with their faculty.”

The two campuses will technically remain open, but for “essential operations only,” the school said.

“Those staff who can telecommute are encouraged to do so,” it said.

Nearly 1 million without power in California

Nearly 1 million people in California were without power as the Pacific storm battered the Bay Area and set its sights on Southern California.

Most of the outages were in Santa Clara County, south of San Francisco, where 134,104 electricity customers were in the dark tonight, according to utility tracker

The total number of homes, businesses and facilities without electricity went down from 913,283 to 893,420 as the night progressed, according to the tracker. However, a vast majority of Los Angeles County’s 10 million residents were warned of imminent flash flooding, which could boost the number again.

Los Angeles County residents warned of likely flash flooding

A flash flood warning is in effect tonight for most of Los Angeles County’s 10 million residents, including those in the cities of L.A., Long Beach, Pasadena and Pomona, according to the National Weather Service.

A warning means flooding is imminent or already underway. The warnings were also sent to cellphones of residents who allow wireless emergency alerts.

The warning urges residents to “move immediately to higher ground” and avoid walking or driving through floodwaters.

Among the storm’s perils: waves

Flash flooding and hurricane-force winds are in the forecast for this Pacific storm, but it’s also making waves offshore — big waves.

The National Weather Service said today that waves as large as 23 feet were looming off the Central California coast, with waves along the coast south of the Channel Islands, including Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, reaching 19 feet offshore.

The forecast from the weather service’s Ocean Prediction Center is aimed at boaters and did not estimate waves at the shoreline. It warns that mariners could encounter even larger waves in the open seas: “Individual waves may be more than twice the significant wave height,” the forecast said.

A high surf advisory for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, effective through tomorrow night, says waves as high as 20 feet could break along the coast. A high surf advisory means waves have the potential to threaten life and property.

The advisory came with a coastal flooding advisory for Port San Luis, Avila Beach, Oceano and Cayucos, where flooding was expected, the weather service said.

The swell is coming from an odd direction for this time of year: the southwest, more associated with summer waves. But this parallels the storm’s counterclockwise swing and its atmospheric river, a vapor trail that has soaked up tropical precipitation near Hawaii and swept it northeast to California.

A high surf advisory for Orange and San Diego counties calls for waves as high as 10 feet along beaches, and it is also in effect through tomorrow night.

Creek rises into backyards in Santa Barbara

Video posted to X showed Mission Creek in Santa Barbara overflowing onto people’s backyards.

Santa Barbara County was one of the counties for which Newsom declared an emergency, allowing for the activation of the National Guard and the facilitation of faster recovery efforts if needed.

Inches of rain begin falling over Southern California

LOS ANGELES — Several inches of rain fell over parts of Southern California tonight as a powerful storm began barreling into the region.

Top two-day rainfall totals as of 6 p.m. were over 5 inches in some areas, the National Weather Service’s office in Los Angeles/Oxnard reported. The highest total so far was recorded in Matilija Canyon, in Ventura County, which got 5.91 inches, according to the weather service.

Farther south in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, Agoura Hills got 3.41 inches and Woodland Hills got 2.28 inches.

Heavy rain was expected to continue falling in the Los Angeles area through the night.

UC Santa Barbara, Cal State campuses in Northridge, Fullerton shutter in-person classes

Some California universities are telling students to stay home tomorrow as they expect the effects of the storm to make it difficult, if not perilous, to make it to class.

Among them are the University of California, Santa Barbara, which serves a community expected to be hit hard by rain, wind and floodwaters. Chancellor Henry T. Yang said in a notice to the campus community that instructors have been told to conduct virtual classes if possible.

Cal State Northridge in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley is keeping its campus open, but all classes have been canceled and all events are to be rescheduled, its police chief, Alfredo B. Fernandez, said in a notice to the campus community. Instruction may still be held virtually, on a class-by-class basis, he said.

Cal State Fullerton in Orange County, south of L.A., said in a statement that classes would be conducted remotely, and staff members were encouraged to work from home if possible.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, California State University Channel Islands and Cal State Long Beach all said they planned to be open but encouraged flexibility among instructors who may have students who can’t make it to campus. Virtual learning was a class-by-class possibility for the Channel Islands and Long Beach institutions, spokespeople for the campuses said.

Trees downed in El Granada

Several people, dogs, rescued from rising Guadalupe River in San Jose

California braces as dangerous storm system set to deliver ‘life threatening flooding’ and heavy snow

SAN DIEGO — A strong Pacific storm system is expected to bring “life threatening flooding” and heavy snow to California today and early into the week, according to the National Weather Service.

On Sunday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a storm-related state of emergency as federal forecasters said an atmospheric river of precipitation drawn from waters north of Hawaii was producing a firehose of rain and snow for the state.

Read the full story here.

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