Powerful winter storm pummels the Golden State

Millions of Southern Californians are waking up to a powerful storm that’s expected to linger over the region through Monday, bringing risks of dangerous flooding, road closures, power outages and other hazards.

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The slow-moving atmospheric river made its way into Southern California on Sunday afternoon after dousing the Bay Area and Central Coast earlier in the weekend. National Weather Service officials issued flash flood warnings for large swaths of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties. The warnings were set to expire at 12 a.m. Monday but could be extended.

Noah Berger / Associated Press

“Forecasters said much of the brunt of the storm appeared to be focused on the Los Angeles area, where the system could park itself for an extended period of time over the next few days,” Times reporters Hayley Smith, Grace Toohey, Emily Alpert Reyes and Roger Vincent noted in their coverage Sunday.

But surrounding regions are also bracing for considerable impacts. NWS officials in San Diego warned that they expect “catastrophic and life-threatening flooding” in Orange County, western parts of the Inland Empire, and in parts of the San Bernardino Mountains.

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As of Sunday evening, the system — which officials say is the most powerful one we’ve seen this winter — was slated to drop up to 8 inches of rain on coasts and valleys, and up to 14 inches in the foothills and mountains. Snowfall totals of 2 to 5 feet are likely at elevations above 7,000 feet.

So what should Monday morning commuters expect? According to NWS meteorologist Ryan Kittell, it’s best to work from home if you can and “stay off the freeways.”

“Even if the rain does start to let up on Monday morning, just the sheer amount of rain overnight will cause lingering flooding issues into the morning hours,” Kittell said in a media briefing Sunday.

Several college campuses canceled in-person classes for Monday, including Cal State Northridge, Cal State L.A. and Cal Poly Pomona.

A hazard-filled Sunday

It wasn’t just SoCal; the atmospheric river brought heavy rain and strong winds across the Bay Area and Central Coast earlier Sunday. Thousands of residents lost power as officials worked to clear downed trees and repair power lines. Statewide, more than 800,000 people were without power as of Sunday evening.

The storm that doused SoCal last week was far less powerful than this one but was still strong enough to cause serious street flooding, notably in Long Beach. Officials were expecting this storm to be even worse.

Flooding remains a major concern for several rivers across the state, including the Ventura River, Guadalupe River and Carmel River.

On Sunday, NWS officials warned that debris flows were “imminent or occurring” and advised residents to avoid traveling and take precautions to safeguard their homes and themselves.

Evacuation warnings and notices were issued in portions of Ventura, Santa Barbara, Monterey and L.A. counties — focused near burn scars from a few recent wildfires.

Newsom’s response

In response to the powerful storm, Gov. Newsom declared a state of emergency for Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

He also mobilized a record 8,500 emergency response personnel to help communities impacted by the storm.

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times

Comments

  1. Robin Itzler - Patriot Neighbors says

    How much of this rainwater is being saved or is most/all going back into the ocean? It’s my understanding that the last reservoir was built 40+ years ago, when the once Golden state’s population was HALF of what it is today.

  2. No reservoirs but california does the infamous choo-choo train.. So grateful to have fled in late 2017.

  3. A powerful storm last seen in decades?

    What has the Democrat government led by idiots like Slick, Weiner, Hart, et al done to fix roads and freeways while squandering money on high speed rail that the HSR authority has stated will not run at speed most of the time?

    How about narrowing roads for failed bike paths. Even the bike boys have admitted failure in getting people to not drive cars. (so bad they have now changed their name to Move).

    Where is the wonderful planning that is based on long term climate and resources? Oh that is right the Dem. “Stack’m & Pack”m” high density infill will not fix the problem. They want the state to drown in people and concrete.

    All the while Storms like this will make idiotic Democrat ghetto planning crash…..ans they will blame the middle class workers for not wanting their Socialism.

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