Heavy rain and snow caused landslides and flooding in Northern California Saturday, closing two major highways as another “atmospheric river” system hit the West Coast.
Rain is expected to ease in Northern California through Saturday night, but some rivers and streams have already reached flood levels. Mudslides occurred in some areas.
Hours of torrential rain forced the closure of Highway 101 due to flooding south of San Francisco, cutting off a major road between the city and Silicon Valley. Flooding also forced the closure of Highway 50 in the Sierra Nevada, potentially preventing New Year’s revelers and skiers from reaching South Lake Tahoe over the holiday weekend.
The Cosumnes River in Northern California has exceeded flood level and is expected to reach 15.5 feet by Saturday night.Parts of the state have seven inches already Or rain from Friday to Saturday.
In Southern California, the Los Angeles area will see light to moderate rain on Saturday, with strong winds continuing into the evening, forecasters said. Severe wind warnings were issued for much of the region’s mountains and Antelope Canyon.
While the powerful storm caused chaos on the roads Saturday morning, it provided a sigh of relief in a state reeling from another prolonged drought.
An atmospheric river, a weather pattern that causes extreme rainfall and high winds, will again raise the possibility of flooding in Northern California Wednesday through Thursday, forecasters said.
An unusually strong and prolonged atmospheric river on the West Coast killed five people in three separate incidents just after Christmas, Oregon authorities said, as trees fell on vehicles. Tens of thousands of people are without power in the Pacific Northwest.
Severe flooding is expected in the Sacramento area by 10 p.m. Saturday, with heavy snow at higher elevations, National Weather Service forecasters said. The Bay Area is under a flood warning until 11:45 a.m. local time, and a wind warning is in effect for the region throughout the day.
Drivers who found their roads flooded were encouraged to make U-turns, officials said. Sacramento firefighters rescue several teens They climbed out of branches early Saturday after their car became trapped in floodwaters. Authorities said there were no reports of injuries.
Areas around Chico are expected to receive up to two inches of rain south, two to three inches east of the valley, and three to five inches north of the western slopes of the Sierra.
“Extreme runoff from this rainfall is expected to rapidly lead to broader stream and nasty urban flooding this morning,” the forecaster said. “Mainstream rivers and tributaries will see associated runoff and/or dam discharges A rising tide lifts all boats.”
Route 92 from Skyline Drive to Main Street in Half Moon Bay is closed due to floodingA portion of State Highway 84 in Alameda in the Bay Area reopened Friday after being closed for hours as workers cleared a landslide.
William Churchill, a forecaster and meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland, said this week that the greatest risk of extreme weather early in the week is in areas that were previously burned along the coast. Rapid, prolonged rainfall could lead to mudslides, or mudslides, he said.