Flood watches in effect for more than 26 million people in California

Flood watches in effect for more than 26 million people in California

Flood watches are in effect for more than 26 million people in California, which has already been devastated by a series of catastrophic storms.

Two Pacific storm systems are forecast to bring rain to much of the state over the weekend. The widespread flooding is leading to flooding concerns in many spots that have already flooded recently.

The systems are expected to bring “heavy lower elevation rain, significant mountain snow and strong winds,” the National Weather Service said in a bulletin Saturday.

Among the impacts so far, the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services issued an evacuation warning Saturday afternoon for several areas amid a threat of flooding. Placer County authorities also reported road closures Saturday due to falling rocks and runoff erosion in the area.

Floodwaters inundate a home from the Salinas River near Chualar, California, on January 14, 2023, as a series of storm surges continue to cause widespread destruction across the state.

David Mcnew/AFP via Getty Images

The first system is expected to bring heavy rain across California as it moves inland Saturday night. Rainfall of 2 to 3 inches is possible along the coast, which could lead to “localized instances of urban and minor flooding and mudslides,” the National Weather Service warned.

Lighter precipitation is possible Sunday “with another increase late Sunday into early Monday ahead of a second system,” the agency said.

Wind advisories are also in effect along parts of the coast and Central Valley for sustained winds of 20-30 mph and gusts of 50 mph.

In an aerial view, a home is seen submerged in floodwaters as the Salinas River begins to burst its banks on January 13, 2023 in Salinas, California.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Snow will also continue to fall in the Sierra Nevada mountains throughout the weekend, with 3 to 6 feet forecast by Monday.

The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab reported more than 21 inches of snow in the past 24 hours as of noon Saturday, with the snow approximately 10 feet deep. Another 2 to 3 feet of snow is expected by Monday morning, he said.

California has been besieged by an almost constant onslaught of rain and snow. At least 17 people died during a powerful storm earlier this week, state officials said.

The National Weather Service had warned of a “relentless parade of atmospheric rivers” on the West Coast over the next week.

A flash flood watch is in effect for more than 26 million people in California as more rain moves in from the Pacific Ocean on Saturday.

ABC News

California Governor Gavin Newsom urged residents to “be vigilant” as more dangerous conditions were forecast for this weekend.

“I know how tired you all are,” he said during a news conference on Friday. “I hope you’ll be a little more vigilant next weekend and we’ll get through this.”

Storms are expected to affect the state by January 18, according to the governor.

ABC News’ Daniel Amarante contributed to this report.

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