Dry days ahead for California after torrential downpours
Flooding and mudslides continued to batter California on Saturday, but the onslaught of wind, rain and snow that has battered the Golden State over the past three weeks is expected to dry up in the coming days.
The hardest-hit region Saturday was south of San Francisco, where mudslides closed roads in Fremont, while the small community of Felton Grove along the San Lorenzo River was ordered to evacuate. Large parts of San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties were also under flood warnings, and the swollen Salinas River flooded farmland in Monterey County.
Flooding was also reported in Marin and Napa north of San Francisco, and in the community of Vina near Sacramento.
Two more storm systems are expected for the already flooded state, with light rain possible Sunday, followed by heavy rain with the potential for more flooding through Tuesday, according to FOX Weather Senior Meteorologist Greg Diamond.
However, aside from a bit more rain and some snow in Northern California on Thursday, most wet residents across the state can expect extended dry days starting midweek.
“An end is in sight,” Diamond said.
Since late December, more than 30 inches of rain has fallen in the state, with some estimates exceeding 40 inches near Santa Barbara. Anadolu Agency via Getty Images The hardest hit region on Saturday was south of San Francisco. Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Flooding was also reported in Marin and Napa north of San Francisco, and in the community of Vina near Sacramento. AP
Since late December, more than 30 inches of rain has fallen in the state, with some estimates exceeding 40 inches near Santa Barbara, Diamond said.
Los Angeles is expected to get another 1 to 2 inches of rain, while 2 to 3 inches of rain is expected in San Francisco and Sacramento through Tuesday.
The Sierra Nevada mountain range can get up to four to seven feet of snow before it stops falling.
The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab tweeted Saturday morning that it received 21.3 inches of snow in 24 hours and that its nearly 10 feet of snow was expected to grow several more feet by Monday.
Los Angeles is expected to get another 1 to 2 inches of rain, while 2 to 3 inches of rain is expected in San Francisco and Sacramento through Tuesday. AP
The Sierra Avalanche Center issued an avalanche warning Saturday for the central Sierra, including the greater Lake Tahoe area.
Diamond noted that while 26 million Californians were inundated Saturday, the flooding was not expected to be as severe as the monster storms earlier in the month. They resulted in nightmare conditions, including flooded roads, sinkholes and mudslides, forcing tens of thousands to evacuate.
At least 19 storm-related deaths have been reported so far. A five-year-old boy is still missing after being pulled from his mother’s truck by floodwaters.
There were 38,000 people across the state without power as of Saturday afternoon, according to Poweroutage.us.
26 million Californians were under flooding on Saturday. Getty Images
The torrential rains, however, have brought some silver linings, Diamond said.
California no longer has any areas on the U.S. Drought Monitor in “extreme drought” — the worst categorization — for the first time in almost three years, the Los Angeles Times reported. The IRS has also extended the tax filing deadline to May 15 for any California business or individual in areas under a federal emergency declaration.
Meanwhile, the state is seeing a record start to snow, which is critical to the state’s water supply. Diamond said there is currently 30 inches of water locked up, or more than 220% above average for this time of year.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a visit Friday to Montecito that residents should heed the caution of public safety officials.
“I know how tired you all are,” Newsom said. “Just be a little more vigilant over the coming weekend.”
By postal wire