‘Atmospheric river’ pounds California, Washington, Oregon with heavy rain, wind; thousands lose power
More than 114,000 customers are without power on the West Coast Tuesday as a storm surge swept across the region.
According to tracker PowerOutage.US, 114,066 customers were affected by early morning.
The storm brought strong winds, heavy rain and snow, causing temperatures to drop sharply in some areas.
There were numerous reports of road flooding and downed trees as the system traveled south.
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In the Bay Area, the wet weather will continue until January 4.
“We got a good soak! Here are the rain totals across the region for December 26-27 ranging from 0.5″ in the center [California] up to 4″ in the North Bay with locally higher amounts of 5-6” in Mount Tamalpais and Santa Cruz [Mountains],” the National Weather Service office there tweeted.
The 2.12 inches of rain measured since midnight near the Oakland Museum broke the previous record of 1.86 inches on the same day in 2004.
According to the agency, this is the eighth wettest December for the East Bay city on record.
The National Weather Service also issued winter storm warnings for the Sierra Nevada.
Motorists there were warned that travel conditions could be hazardous and chains or snow tires were required on some highways.
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There, winds of up to 120 miles per hour were recorded on some ridge tops and avalanche warnings were issued in parts of the mountain range.
In Southern California, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued an ocean water quality advisory for rain that lasts until at least 4:30 pm PT Friday.
“A rain advisory is issued when there is significant rainfall that can cause bacteria levels to increase in ocean waters,” the Los Angeles County Fire Department wrote Monday.
The atmospheric river was created by a low pressure system in the Pacific Northwest.
In Seattle, wind gusts reached over 55 miles per hour Monday night and rain brought flooding to congested streets.
The National Weather Service office in Portland, Oregon, shared images of downed trees and advised to avoid icy patches.
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Flooding, storms and dangerous winds were all reported to have affected the state.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.