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California flood watch as another atmospheric river takes aim

Another round of storms is heading toward flood-ravaged California, where residents are still dealing with impassable roads, overflowing rivers, flooded neighborhoods and a breach in an embankment that has forced hundreds of people to evacuate.

A new atmospheric river is expected to hit the state on Monday, threatening heavy rains and more flooding in central and northern California as another atmospheric river descends. National Weather Service said: Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow bands of moisture that can transport saturated air thousands of miles like a fire hose.

An estimated 15 million people in California and Nevada remain under flooding as the storm approaches.

“More than 6 inches of rain is possible in parts of Central and Northern California with this event,” CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said Sunday.

Starting Monday night, “rain will affect more sensitive parts of central California that were hit hard by rain early Friday and Saturday.” Weather Forecast Center said: As a result, “it won’t take long after the steady downpour begins for the flooding to resume.”

More flooding could create a dire situation in some neighborhoods, where walls of heavy rain in recent days have turned streets into rivers and damaged roads, drowning people and prompting rescuers. At least two people died as a result of the storms, officials said.

Among the hardest hit areas is Monterey County, where the swollen Pajaro River burst its reservoir around midnight Friday. Water flowed out of control into nearby Pajaro, forcing residents to flee, a “worst-case scenario” for the community, said Luis Alejo, chairman of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.

Some people were unable to evacuate before the floodwaters arrived, and crews were still out Saturday conducting high-water rescues, Cal Fire Capt. Curtis Rhodes told CNN.


Many residents of Pajaro are farm workers who may not only lose their property but also be unable to live for a while if the continued flooding affects agriculture, Alejo said.

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

As residents pack emergency shelters, efforts to stop flooding from the breach are complicated by an approaching second atmospheric river.

“It’s a very short lull this weekend,” said David King with the National Weather Service. “The weather will change, expected on Monday night.”


While eyes were on the Pajaro River, the Salinas River to the south was also overflowing, prompting more evacuation orders in Monterey County. The rising river had already flooded homes and businesses around the community of San Ardo.

Sheriff Tina Nieto said emergency crews rescued more than 90 people in Monterey County. “We even rescued a man who was swimming through one of the areas in a tube with his pet on top,” he said.

To the north, as Friday’s heavy rains inundated Santa Cruz County, about 700 residents in Soquel were trapped after a pipe failure caused severe flooding and the collapse of a road connecting the community to the rest of the county, Steve Wiesner said. assistant director of public works of the district.

Residents will remain isolated until a new crossing is established, which could take days, Wiesner said.

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

Another hard-hit county was Tulare County, where evacuation orders have been extended to include the community of Taviston as well as parts of Cutler and Exeter as the river rose, the county sheriff’s office announced Friday night. Officials urged residents to stay clear of waterways and avoid all unnecessary travel.

Video from Springville, Tulare County, shows the devastating damage after Friday’s severe flooding.

“It’s pretty sad,” Hattie Sheppard told CNN. “Many hard-working people have been displaced by the loss of their homes and possessions.”

Last: atmospheric rivers are the last to demonize the state after the attack similar storms in December and January also led to deadly flooding.

But this new wave of storms is hitting areas already buried by heavy snow over the past two weeks. Melting snow pack Forecasters say that they will play a role in prolonging the floods in the coming days.

President Joe Biden approved the declaration of a state of emergency at the request of Governor Gavin Newsom. The move frees up funds for millions of residents who have been affected by severe weather since the start of the year.

Meanwhile, Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo extended the state of emergency cover more counties with flooding associated with the same storm.

“As this severe weather continues to affect more residents of northern Nevada, I again urge all Nevadans to stay safe, travel carefully and follow all local guidelines,” Lombardo said in a statement. “State and federal partners will continue to monitor local damage and work quickly to assess the necessary repairs in northern Nevada.”

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