California has been hit by heavy rain amid another series of storms

The latest in a series of powerful storm fronts atmospheric rivers Storms hit California again on Saturday as the state continues to battle heavy rains and flooding that caused widespread damage and forced thousands to evacuate.

Governor Gavin Newsom said at a news conference Saturday in Merced County, California thunderstorms responsible for at least 19 deaths.

A series of atmospheric rivers – long regions in the atmosphere that transport water – are responsible for the storms that have hit California since December 26. Newsom Saturday estimated California was hit by eight atmospheric rivers, possibly a ninth.

Storm damage in California
A pedestrian walks through debris from a drift storm in Capitola Beach, California, on January 14, 2023.

Nic Coury/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The governor also appreciated it 22 to 25 trillion gallons of rain has fallen on the state since the storms hit a few weeks ago.

“The accumulation of these atmospheric rivers, the like of which we have not yet experienced in our lifetime. The reality is that this is only the eighth of what we expect to be nine atmospheric rivers,” Newsom told reporters. “We’re not done yet. I know in any challenging time there comes a point where people get tired… I’m just praying for all of us that we stay alert and sane for the next 24-48 hours.”

Crews on Saturday were forced to suspend the search for a missing 5-year-old boy who was swept away by flooding Monday in San Marcos Creek near San Miguel due to rising water levels and inclement weather, the Sun County Sheriff’s Office said. -Luis Obispo. .

Just over 22,200 customers in California were without power Saturday afternoon, according to a tracking website

Flood warnings were issued for the region north of San Francisco Bay, including Marin, Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties.

In the south, warnings were posted for some counties, including San Mateo and Santa Cruz, where the tiny community of Felton Grove along the San Lorenzo River was ordered to evacuate.

The swollen Salinas River swamped farmland in Monterey County, and to the east a flood warning was in effect for Merced County in the agricultural Central Valley.

Storm damage in California
Pedestrians wade through floodwaters in Aptos, California on January 14, 2023.

Nic Coury/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Slippery roads, snow, and white picket fences hit the highways in the Sierra Nevada.

UC Berkeley’s Central Sierra Snow Lab said on Twitter Saturday morning that 21.3 inches of snow had fallen in 24 hours, with a snowpack of about 10 feet expected to grow several more feet by Monday.

An avalanche warning has been issued for the central Sierra, including most of Lake Tahoe.

In Santa Barbara County, where a massive debris flow swept through the town of Montecito on Jan. 9, 2018, killing 23 people, residents were told that no new evacuations were expected but to be prepared.

Montecito and surrounding areas were recently ordered to evacuate last Monday, the fifth anniversary of what locals remembered as the “9/1 Mudslide.” But the community, located in the foothills of the coastal mountains, escaped serious damage.

California is expected to have dry days next week starting Tuesday.

“Then the question becomes, are we going to stay dry for the rest of the month?” says the San Francisco Bay Area Weather Service.

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