More than 100,000 utility customers in California were without power Sunday night after torrential rains and strong winds battered the northern part of the state, and more extreme weather was forecast.
In the state capital region Sunday night, the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services ordered residents of unincorporated Wilton, which has a population of more than 6,200, to evacuate immediately. .
«Flood is imminent,» the order read. «Out of an abundance of caution, residents should leave now before the roads become impassable. The increased water may spill onto the nearest roads and cut off access to leave the area.»
Forecasters said 6 to 12 inches of rain was expected through Wednesday in the Sacramento-area foothills.
The Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services also warned of winds of up to 60 mph in the community of Wilton, which is southeast of the city of Sacramento. An evacuation center has opened in Elk Grove, county officials said.
On Sunday night, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Coroner issued an evacuation warning urging residents of low-elevation communities to prepare to flee on short notice by packing necessary belongings.
«If possible, consider moving before the onset of the weather system,» the advisory for residents of the county in the southern Bay Area read.
Stockton public schools in the Central Valley will be closed Monday due to «extreme weather conditions,» the district said in a statement. Similarly, the Galt Joint Union High School District said it would close its campuses Monday as power outages and flooding were affecting the south Sacramento community of Galt.
Power was restored to more than 400,000 homes and businesses following outages to 540,000 California utility customers early Sunday, according to the electricity tracker. PowerOutage.us.
By nightfall, 119,578 utility customers were left in the dark, the tracker said. Most of the outages occurred in the northern part of the state.
The front on Sunday downed trees, branches and power lines, the National Weather Service office that covers Sacramento said. In the Bay Area, a section of the Guadalupe River in San Jose was the subject of a flood warning from the National Weather Service Sunday night.
The San Francisco Fire Department tweeted images of downed trees and flooded buildings on Saturday. San Francisco Public Works announced it could supply 10 sandbags per home and business in preparation for the wet weather over the weekend.
«This is a very large storm, very widespread impacts across much of the state that we expect Californians to be watching for over the next few days,» National Weather Service regional meteorologist Eric Schoening said at a state news conference Sunday. to become night.
Karla Nemeth, director of the California Department of Water Resources, said the storm that hit Sacramento on Sunday was the fifth of the season, with a sixth expected to hit the state on Thursday.
She described the storms as part of river weather events, fronts hatched in the Gulf of Alaska and fed by rainfall from the tropical Pacific.
«We are working in conditions of intense saturation,» Nemeth said at the press conference. «Even moderate levels of rainfall can produce significant flooding impacts.»
California Emergency Services Director Nancy Ward said flooding kills more people in California than any other natural disaster, including the state’s notorious wildfires.
The National Weather Service said in a bulletin Sunday that back-to-back storms could produce landslides, flash flooding and debris flows.
The west coast «remains under the target of a relentless parade of cyclones,» which will intensify over the Pacific Ocean as it moves inland, the NWS said.
The front that affected Northern California was moving south and east toward central and southern California, where flooding, tree damage and winds of up to 70 mph were possible, federal forecasters said.
At least six people have died due to severe weather since New Year’s weekend, including a young child killed by a fallen redwood tree that crushed a mobile home in Northern California.
Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Wednesday as California was engulfed in rain and snow, causing flooding across the state. The declaration will allow local jurisdictions and state agencies to respond to the changing climate more quickly.
California’s soil has long been weakened by drought and summer wildfires, which cause trees to become brittle or burn. This reduces the amount of interference from rain, which quickly forms streams in parched ground and leads to increased risk of flooding.
Climate change has already made extreme precipitation in California twice as likely, with extreme weather predicted to generate 200-400% of surface runoff (rainwater that cannot be absorbed by the ground) for turn of the century, according to research conducted by the University of California at Los Angeles environment and sustainability department
Wade Crawford, the secretary of state for natural resources, told Sunday’s news conference that the weather in January has been «supercharged by climate change.»
Reuters, Associated Press, denis romero, joseph cradduck Y erick mendoza contributed.