A second atmospheric river within days pelted California with hurricane-force winds, bringing tornado warnings and hundreds of mudslides.
The Los Angeles area experienced one of the wettest storms in history, between 6 and 12 inches, that unleashed nearly 400 mudslides, and officials warned that the threat was not yet over, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
“An end is in sight, but not until Thu or Fri. Do not let the break Wednesday morning misguide you — more rain and mountain snow coming Wednesday afternoon and night,” the Los Angeles National Weather Service posted online.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning over San Diego County, a rare move that forecasters quickly canceled, as the storm no longer appeared to be capable of creating a tornado.
Crews in the Los Angeles area begun the process of assessing the storm impacts and responding to reported damages. Mayor Karen Bass said every city department was mobilized to support locals with the resources they need as they deal with damage to homes as the storm continues.
The rains brought widespread flooding and knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of people. California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) declared a state of emergency for eight counties in the southern part of the state due to the storm.
Forecasters are warning that life-threatening flash flooding may occur. They are asking residents to stay off the roads until road conditions improve.
So far, crews have responded to 383 mudslides. Seven buildings have been deemed uninhabitable, and another 10 had residents gather belongings but leave the area because of the damage, the AP reported.
Bass said it’s not known how many homes have been destroyed but said the city’s emergency shelters were full.
A man died Monday after his truck went down an embankment and filled with water about 80 miles east of Los Angeles. Another man died after the car he was in crashed into a tow truck. Four people were killed in Northern California after the strong winds toppled trees, the AP reported.
Many people have been rescued from the fast-moving water in parts of Southern California.
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Author: Lauren Irwin