There is no end in sight to the catastrophic rains that have rocked California in recent days as more “atmospheric rivers” flow toward the Golden State of 25 million people, or two-thirds of the state that is on a flood warning.
The storms come just as the state began to recover from the recent bomb cyclone.
Recent “atmospheric flows” have claimed at least 19 lives, could cut off the Monterrey Peninsula in the state’s north and threaten the Salinas Valley, which provides 70 percent of the US’s lettuce.
Rainbands of gusty winds started in the north and spread south, with more storms expected to follow early next week, the National Weather Service said.
A series of “atmospheric flows,” rarely seen in such frequent succession, have pounded the Golden State since December 26.
In Salinas, where 70 percent of the United States’ lettuce is produced, a house is seen on farmland amid flooding of the Salinas River
The Central Valley town of Planada was devastated by widespread flooding after a severe atmospheric flow event ripped through the area earlier in the week
More than 68,000 utility customers were without power as of Saturday morning, a number that was reduced by more than half in the afternoon, according to PowerOutage.us.
Flood warnings have been issued for the region north of San Francisco Bay, including Marin, Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
In the south, alerts have been posted for parts of counties like San Mateo and Santa Cruz, where the tiny community of Felton Grove on the San Lorenzo River has been ordered to be evacuated.
Garbage cans floated on the streets, water levels reached stop signs and overtook parked vehicles.
Some residents waded through floodwater and mud to clear debris.
The swollen Salinas River flooded farmland in Monterey County, and to the east, Merced County was on flood warnings in the agricultural Central Valley, which Gov. Gavin Newsom was visiting to take stock of the storm’s problems.
“The reality is this is only the eighth of nine projected atmospheric flows — we’re not done yet,” Newsom said at a briefing with local leaders where he urged people to pledge to safety over the next 24 to 48 years eighth hour
“It’s happening all over California, but I want to say … you’re disproportionately bearing the brunt of this, and if you think so, you’re right,” the California Democrat said.
Newsom said later Saturday he expects President Biden to sign a Major Disaster Declaration to help the state respond to the emergency.
Hopland Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mitch Franklin cuts down a large oak tree that fell on a vehicle, injuring the driver on Old River Road north of Hopland, California
Residents are working to push back wet mud that trapped cars and seeped into some homes in the small unincorporated town of Piru, east of Fillmore, Calif. this week
Christian Ibarra surfs a tide at Fort Funston in San Francisco
A levee breach in Merced’s Bear Creek area of the San Joaquin Valley inundated homes and stranded animals, according to local media, as officials worked to keep floodwaters from overflowing.
Slippery roads, snow and whiteout conditions plagued highways through the Sierra Nevada.
A backcountry avalanche warning has been issued for the central Sierra, including the greater Lake Tahoe area.
The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab tweeted Saturday morning that it had received 21.3 inches of snow in 24 hours and that its snowpack is expected to grow several feet from about 10 feet through Monday.
The University of California at Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab said in a tweet Saturday, “We expect another 2-3 feet of snow by Monday morning, there’s so much more to come!”
Lake Nicasio is at 100 percent capacity following the ‘atmospheric flow’ events
Agricultural equipment has been submerged in flood waters after the Salinas River burst its banks on January 13
The storms have eased, but not solved, California’s notorious drought problems
The US Drought Monitor revised its assessment Thursday to bring virtually the entire state out of extreme drought or exceptional drought
At least 19 storm-related deaths have occurred, and a 5-year-old boy remained missing after he was washed out of his mother’s car by flood waters in San Luis Obispo County
A refrigerator is dumped among debris near a home flooded by the Salinas River near Chualar, California
A series of atmospheric flows have dumped rain and snow over California since late December, cutting off power to thousands, flooding roads, releasing streams of debris and triggering landslides.
The storms have alleviated but not resolved the region’s drought.
The US Drought Monitor revised its assessment Thursday to lift virtually the entire state out of extreme drought or exceptional drought, the two worst categories, although much of it is still suffering from moderate to severe drought.
At least 19 storm-related deaths have occurred, and a 5-year-old boy remained missing after he was washed out of his mother’s car by flood waters in San Luis Obispo County.
A road worker monitors the flooding of the Salinas River
A house in Salinas is gradually submerged by the floodwaters
Water from the recent storms, which has filled Lake Cachuma almost to capacity and prompted the first controlled water discharges in a decade of an even longer drought to avoid flooding, surges against Bradbury Dam in Santa Barbara County
Half of the deaths involved motorists, and some could have been prevented if drivers had heeded roadblock signs, said Sean Duryee, acting commissioner of the California Highway Patrol
The swollen Salinas River flooded farmland in Monterey County, and to the east, Merced County was on flood warnings in the agricultural Central Valley, which Gov. Gavin Newsom was visiting to take stock of the storm’s problems
Kyle Doan was being driven to school by his mother Lindsay on Monday when they got stuck on a flooded road. The boy’s parents claim there was no warning about the road.
Lindsay said she was rushing to get her son out of the car when they were overwhelmed by the water. She says that by the time she was able to get out of the car, her son had been taken down the creek near the city of San Miguel.
The new storms have caused the search for Doan to be put on hold.
Half of the deaths involved motorists, and some could have been prevented if drivers had heeded roadblock signs, California Highway Patrol acting commissioner Sean Duryee said during a briefing of state and federal officials on Friday.
A farmer tends a pump in a flooded field next to the Salinas River near Chualar
Local residents pick up sandbags to protect their homes in Merced, California from further flooding
A USPS delivery woman is seen on California Street in San Francisco on January 11
A power pole lies in flood water after the Salinas River burst its banks
A greenhouse is submerged in the waters of the Salinas River
In Santa Barbara County, where a massive flow of debris through the Montecito community killed 23 people on Jan. 9, 2018, residents were told no new evacuations were expected but to be prepared.
The evacuation of Montecito and adjacent areas was last ordered last Monday, the fifth anniversary of what is known locally as 1/9 Debris Flow. But the community, perched on the foothills of the coastal mountains, escaped serious damage.
Visiting Montecito on Friday, Newsom asked residents to exercise caution and heed warnings from public safety officials.
“I know how tired you all are. Just be a little more vigilant over the next weekend,” Newsom said.