California Weather: Treacherous flooding worsens during heavy rains and snowmelt

(CNN) Californians reeling from the onslaught of dangerous storms will face yet another flood atmospheric river And threatening deadly floods.

More than 30 million people were under a flood watch in California on Monday, covering much of the state including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno and Sacramento.

The storm is expected to hit northern and central California late Monday and southern California beginning Tuesday.

already, A levee breach in Monterey County The devastating weekend floods have been blamed, prompting evacuation warnings for thousands of people. And Monterey Bay residents may soon find themselves on a virtual island, Also cut off by flood waters.

About 20 rapid water rescue teams in more than 10 districts Following dozens of water rescues in recent days, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services remained positioned ahead of the storm on Monday.

This new wave of threatening weather is coming On the heels of a deadly atmospheric river — Long, narrow moisture that can carry saturated air Thousands of miles like a fire hose. It will last until the 11th Hit the West This winter.

From severe floods to prolonged droughts, the intensity of water-related disasters around the world has increased as global temperatures have increased over the past two decades. A record highNew research shows.

A new storm in California could increase flooding and damage in some areas. Already, residents of central and northern California are huddled in shelters amid mudslides, rushing rivers, collapsed bridges and impassable roads.

Parts of northern and central California could receive up to 8 inches of heavy rain.

South of San Francisco, parts of Monterey County — including Salinas — could be cut off by flooding on the Salinas River, officials said. “People at Risk”Accommodation may be sought and obtained“With family or friends or at one of the county’s evacuation centers, Monterey County officials said.

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The storm will also complicate efforts to repair a levee breached by the swollen Pajaro River in Monterey County by midnight Friday. Evacuation warnings may be extended to 5,000 residents.

Water gushed more than 120 feet through the breach and into nearby Bajaro, forcing thousands to evacuate as crews rescued about 200 people, Monterey Sheriff Tina Nieto said. Now, officials fear more rescues will be needed in this next storm.

“The situation is changing and evolving,” said Jeremy Arrich, flood division manager for the California Department of Water Resources. “Construction crews continue to work to stabilize the levee, and engineers are focused on short- and long-term fixes,” said Jeremy Arrich, flood division manager for the California Department of Water Resources. is coming

Many Pajaro residents are agricultural workers who may not only lose property but also their ability to earn a living for a time if continued flooding affects agriculture, said Luis Alejo, chairman of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.

“These are the people who can least endure this kind of hardship,” he said.

What to expect as the storm moves in

A broken levee and a flooded river are seen in Bajaro, California on Sunday.

The new wave is hitting areas already buried by heavy snowfall over the past two weeks. Melting snow Flooding is expected to play a role in the coming days, forecasters say.

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center issued a Category 4 out of 4 forecast for heavy rainfall — the center’s highest risk rating — that could cause flash flooding along the coast from parts of Monterey County in central California to Santa Barbara on Tuesday.

Rain is expected to begin intensifying late Monday and, combined with snowmelt, is forecast to trigger more flooding Tuesday through Wednesday. National Weather Service said.

Predictors warned “Significant flooding risks” below 5,000 feet in large areas of central California through Tuesday. Creeks and streams already swollen due to flooding are at risk of overflowing from heavy rainfall and snowmelt.

Mammoth Lakes firefighters respond to a propane heater leak and small fire at a closed restaurant surrounded by snow Sunday.

“Although rainfall during this upcoming storm will be historic, the impacts will exceed the rainfall totals.” UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain said.

In Southern California, rain could fall at a rate of 1 inch per hour in the mountains and foothills. The National Weather Service office in Los Angeles warned residents to expect downed trees, downed power lines, flooded roads and mudslides.

As of Monday, 32 shelters were open in 13 California counties, according to the state Office of Emergency Services. More than 600 people are staying in shelters, mostly in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, the office said.

‘We are now an island’

Cars and homes were flooded in Pajaro, California on Saturday.

Rescuers pulled dozens of residents from dangerous floodwaters as rain over the past week pushed rivers and creeks over their banks.

According to Sheriff Tina Nieto, about 200 people have been rescued in Monterey County alone.

The county activated both its search and rescue team and rescue dive team to work 24-hour shifts due to the flooding, Undersheriff Keith Boyd said Monday.

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In the worst-hit Bajaro region of the county, authorities have evacuated 2,000 people. A school, two mobile home parks and about 800 homes in the area were affected by the flooding, Boyd said.

California Highway Patrol He posted a video of the helicopter rescue In King City, a driver got stuck in the Salinas River.

“The high river swept away a driver and his car, but the driver was able to escape the vehicle and make it to an island in the middle of the flooded Salinas River.” The highway was patrolled Sunday.

In parts of Kern County, a shed, a hot tub and an entire tree line were washed away in the Kern River, a resident of Kernville said.

“The river is going around some RVs and mobile homes right now. It’s really unbelievable,” said Danny Hausch, who has worked in Kernville for 17 years and has never seen anything like it.

To the north, Friday’s heavy rains in Santa Cruz County left about 700 Soquel residents stranded after the only road culvert connecting the community failed, said Steve Wiesner, the county’s assistant director of public works.

“We’re an island now,” resident Molly Watson told CNN.

Another hard-hit area was Tulare County, where video from Springville showed devastating damage after Friday’s severe flooding.

“It’s very heartbreaking,” Hattie Shepherd told CNN. “Many hardworking people have lost their homes and possessions and been displaced.”

CNN meteorologists Dave Hennen and Haley Brink and CNN’s Rachel Ramirez, Tina Burnside, Mike Valerio and Sharif Paget contributed to this report.

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