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Evacuations Have Been Ordered as a ‘bomb Cyclone’ in California Releases Strong Winds and Heavy Rain; a State of Emergency Has Been Issued
SFO— California declared a state of emergency Wednesday after a severe storm caused 45-foot waves at sea, soaked ground, and caused floods and mudslides. The area National Weather Service office advised the San Francisco Bay Area’s 8 million residents to limit travel as the storm’s consequences increase in the afternoon.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom activated state National Guard forces to assist in disaster response earlier in the day as a major storm battered the state’s coastline. Firefighters and equipment have been prepositioned in regions expected to endure significant flooding and mudflows.
.”Charge your cellphone, computers, and tablets today while you can,” warned National Weather Service meteorologist Cynthia Palmer in San Francisco. She advised having storm information and something to watch if the power goes out.
The storm is called a “bomb cyclone” due to its rapid air pressure decrease and great intensity. “It’s probably a 30-hour event from start to finish,” said National Weather Service San Francisco meteorologist Rick Canepa. “It will rain till Thursday afternoon or evening.”
Forecasters expect severe weather to dump 10 or more inches of rain on Northern California next week. The National Weather Service predicted Wednesday’s storm would down trees, flood highways, collapse slopes, halt airports, and “loss of human life.”
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Officials warn that the threat remains. Other systems at sea may bring extra rain to the region, according to forecasters. On Wednesday, severe weather hit California and beyond. Early Wednesday, a suspected tornado hit Montgomery, Alabama. The twister damaged almost 50 homes but killed no one.
Sacramento flood dead; motorists saved. Authorities uncovered two more deaths Wednesday after flooding in rural south Sacramento County, raising the death toll from the atmospheric river storm on New Year’s Eve to three.
Sgt. Amar Gandhi, a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman, said a submerged car had the third body. Gandhi said Wednesday night there was no victim identification or incident details. California Highway Patrol personnel retrieving flooded automobiles uncovered a woman’s body in the morning.
A man was found dead in a submerged vehicle on Sunday. Gandhi reported Sacramento County rescue efforts. Across Northern California, numerous motorists were rescued from flooded highways and fallen trees. The San Francisco Fire Department rescued a family from fallen trees on a local road Wednesday night.
Californians lose power. Karla Nemeth, head of the California Department of Water Resources, said trees are more prone to fall amid heavy rain and strong winds, causing extensive power outages. Officials and electricity companies advised residents to prepare emergency kits and charge key gadgets for storm-related disruptions.
PowerOutage.us reported 178,000 outages Wednesday night. North coast outages predominated. Coastal cities evacuated. Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara issued evacuation orders Wednesday as the massive storm threatens mudslides and flooding.
At a Wednesday news conference, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown ordered burn scar residents to evacuate due to water and debris flows. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office issued many evacuation orders for southern sections of the county Wednesday due to storm-related flooding and debris flow.
Powerful storms disrupt flights. The storm’s powerful gusts and heavy rains are disrupting Bay Area flights, with more expected as the peak approaches. San Francisco International Airport saw 74 aircraft cancellations on Wednesday afternoon, 8% of all flights.
According to airport public relations officer Doug Yakel, 191 flights have been delayed by 35 minutes. “Reduced ceilings and winds cause delays and cancellations,” he told USA TODAY. Oakland International Airport’s operations team is ready, a spokeswoman told USA TODAY. Oakland-bound passengers should check their airline’s app or website for flight updates.
California’s “bomb cyclone” flight waivers: Southwest Airlines is giving free rebooking for Wednesday flights from Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Jose. Rebooking must use the same city pairs and travel dates within 14 days of the initial booking.
Delta Air Lines waived Thursday and Friday flights to and from San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, and Fresno on Wednesday night. Rebooking before Jan. 8 will waive the fare difference. Flood-prepared residents.
Papenhausen Hardware co-owner Karl Aguilar said San Francisco consumers were particularly concerned about flooding. Aguilar stated, “Last week a considerable quantity of people were concentrating on the roofs — tiny leaks, windows, things like that. People became more concerned with flood mitigation. Flood mitigation for this storm.
Grace Daryanani at Bulls Head restaurant, a few doors east, has sandbags and wet/dry vacuum cleaners. A new outdoor dining area may help her apartment avoid flooding in large storms. Flood and severe wind warnings preceded the storm. The Bay Area National Weather Service issued a rare warning that the “brutal” storm system “has to be taken seriously.”
Palmer said the winds are the main story. Winds might reach 40–50 mph in coastal areas and 80 mph in mountainous areas. Floods and landslides are likely. New Year’s Eve’s more than 5 inches of rain saturated the ground, making Wednesday’s storm potentially damaging.
“Smaller watersheds and steep slopes are the key concerns. On Wednesday night, some areas may experience large mudslides, shallow landslides, and urban and small creek floods “UCLA climatologist Daniel Swain. South’s severe weather, possibly tornadoes.
Wednesday saw severe storms in the South. Florida, Georgia, North, and South Carolina saw heavy rainfall, flash floods, and severe weather. Wednesday’s 3:14 a.m. east Montgomery tornado was possible. Rodney Penn, who was home throughout the storm, claimed a tree limb damaged his wife’s car windows but did not damage their apartment.
Penn said it sounded like a thousand baseball bats hitting the house. Five South Carolina counties had tornado watches Wednesday. West Coast drought not ended by California rain. Because many of California’s major reservoirs are still low, Swain said the persistent dryness is preventing some floods.
“They can absorb a lot of water,” he remarked. At a news conference Wednesday, Karla Nemeth, director of the California Department of Water Resources, declared the state is under a drought and flood emergency. “A lot of our trees are stressed after three years of intensive drought, the ground is wet and there is a significant probability of fell trees that will generate significant problems, maybe flooding and electricity concerns,” she warned.
The rains may relieve Northern California’s coastal drought, but they won’t help the West’s drought. Swain said it would help central and northern California but not the Colorado basin. Water is coming. Canepa said two other Pacific storms might arrive late Friday and run until Sunday and Tuesday.