State Of Emergency: California Prepares For Devastating Storm- Millions in central and northern California are preparing for a dangerous storm on Thursday that may produce extensive flooding in areas still recovering from days of winter.
. The Weather Prediction Center predicted “numerous” floods for millions from heavy rains and rapid snow melt below 5,000 feet.
The prediction center stated Sierra Nevada foothill creeks and streams are most susceptible to rain and snowmelt floods. “This will lead to challenging travel, and combined with an already heavy snowpack, may lead to growing consequences from the depth and weight of the snow,” the forecast center said.
Northern California will expect rain and snow starting late Thursday morning and intensifying until early Friday morning.
One location was warned to stock up on basics for two weeks, while others were told to use sandbags to safeguard their properties and clear their streams to reduce floods. Due to earlier storms and this week’s harsh weather, 34 of California’s 58 counties are under a governor’s state of emergency.
Other storm effects:
• Heavy rainfall: The San Francisco Bay Area National Weather Service predicts 1.5–3 inches of total rainfall for most urban areas. The meteorological service predicted 3–6 inches of rain for coastal ranges and inland hills, increasing the threat. Over time, the Santa Cruz Mountains may receive 8 inches of rain, while higher regions may receive 10 inches.
• High wind alerts for over 15 million people in northern and central California, north of Nevada, and southern Idaho. High winds might down power lines and trees, adding to thousands of power outages from previous storms that sent heavy snow to higher elevations.
• Heavy snow: Sierra Nevada mountains above 8,000 feet could get 8 feet of snow. During Thursday and Friday, higher elevations in southern Oregon and the Rocky Mountains in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming could receive up to 2 feet of snow.
Many places prepared for Thursday’s storm have not recovered from the successive waves of heavy snow that buried some homes and kept roads unusable for days while residents ran out of vital supplies. On Wednesday, CNN reported a car crash in San Bernardino County killed one individual.
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Local government preparations
Some local officials are preparing for the severe storm as a robust atmospheric river transports warm air and water vapor from the tropics.
. National Weather Service Sacramento meteorologist Katrina Hand expects additional roadways to flood as the main rivers rise.
A news release from San Francisco advised small companies to clear storm drains, stock up on goods, use sandbags, and store equipment. Authorities announced firms to change labor schedules for safety.
In Merced, crews cleared storm drains and fortified creek banks ahead of the storm, citing floods from January’s devastating atmospheric rivers.
— SANTINO (@MichaelSCollura) February 27, 2023
“The city asks all citizens to avoid these waters and pedestrian paths,” officials stated. Expect additional debris in creek flows due to ground saturation and earlier rains.
Officials encouraged Big Sur residents in Monterey County to stock up on food and supplies for two weeks. The dramatic cliffs, mountains, and secluded beaches of Big Sur, a 90-mile section of California’s central coast, are popular tourist attractions.
Fire authorities in Kern County, home to Bakersfield, advised citizens to make emergency kits and know escape routes and safe shelters.
San Luis Obispo officials advised citizens to learn about flood insurance and prepare for evacuations.
Sacramento officials plan to open overnight warming centers Friday in anticipation of heavy rain and freezing temperatures.