More rain is on its way to storm-ravaged California, where storm surges have flooded communities and left 19 dead.

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CNN

Storm-beaten California — still reeling from weeks of deadly floods, mudslides and rescues — is getting hit with more rain over the weekend.

An unrelenting chain of atmospheric rivers – long, narrow regions in the atmosphere that can carry moisture thousands of kilometers – has turned communities into lakes, crippled highways and prompted thousands of evacuations, including earlier this week. At least 19 people died as a result of the storms.

Two more are attacking the state this weekend.

“This is not over; we must remain vigilant. Stay safe, make necessary preparations and limit non-essential travel,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “Floods, landslides and storms don’t matter who you are or where you live – they will hit you all the same. We lost a lot – a lot of people to these storms and these waters.”

More than 8 million people were under flood warnings Saturday night across much of California’s central coast, as well as the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys.

A marginal risk of excessive rain exists along the California coast from San Francisco to San Diego, as well as in the Southern California Mountain Ranges, where even 2 inches of additional rain can lead to flooding and landslides, the National Weather Service Meteorology said.

Residents of Monterey County, on California’s central coast, were ordered to evacuate low-lying Carmel River areas Saturday afternoon. Sacramento County officials ordered Wilton-area residents to flee – yet again – due to a predicted surge in the Cosumnes River.

“People are tired of evacuation orders. People are tired of seeing those Caltrans signs saying ‘detour’ — they are generally tired,” Newsom said, speaking from a flood evacuation shelter at the Merced County Fairgrounds.

President Joe Biden on Saturday approved California’s disaster declaration request, freeing up federal aid to supplement recovery efforts in areas of the state affected by storm surges, floods and mudslides since Dec. 27, the White House said.

“This federal aid is critical to recovery efforts so Californians can get back on their feet faster,” Newsom said in a statement. tweet thanking Biden for approving the statement.

The first system of the weekend made landfall on the California coast Saturday afternoon and is expected to move inland, bringing heavy rain across the state “as another wave of moisture from the Pacific ahead of a major cold front,” the Service said. National Meteorology.

Lighter showers are expected to continue into Sunday morning, before another “increase” late Sunday and early Monday, before a second system, the weather service said.

The new round of heavy rains comes after several areas have already seen 50% to 70% of the amount of precipitation they would normally receive in a full year in 16 days.

San Francisco recorded one of its 15 wettest winters on record.

Newsom said that just a few weeks ago, Southern California officials extended a drought emergency to millions of residents. Now, the state is flooded with rain.

“By some estimates, 22 to 25 trillion gallons of water have fallen over the last 16 to 17 days – the buildup of these atmospheric rivers like we’ve never experienced in our lifetimes,” the governor said. “The reality is that this is only the eighth of nine atmospheric rivers that we predict.”

While this weekend’s rainfall total is lower than previous storms, the threshold for flooding is much lower now because the ground is too saturated to absorb more water in many areas.

“The challenges will present themselves over the next few days in a very acute way, mainly because everything is saturated, mainly because the terrain is overloaded.” Newsom said. “What may seem less significant in terms of rainfall may actually be more significant in terms of impacts on land, flooding and debris flow.”

Overall precipitation totals through Monday range from 2 to 3 inches along the coast and inland valleys, with 4 to 6 inches possible for the San Francisco Bay Area and the nearby Santa Cruz and Santa Lucia mountains. This will likely lead to some instances of flooding, as well as mud, rocks and landslides.

River flooding is also a major concern, particularly around the Russian River in Northern California and the Salinas River near Monterey.

Monterey County officials warned this week that flooding from the Salinas River could turn the area into an island and cut off essential services.

As far east as Merced County, crews rushed to place rocks in the Bear Creek area ahead of the storm’s arrival, concerned that high waters would continue to erode the levee and eventually lead to a failure of the levee in downtown. merced.

National Guard troops, sheriff's office officials and firefighters search for 5-year-old Kyle Doan, who went missing Thursday near San Miguel, California.

Rescuers have resumed their search for 5-year-old Kyle Doan, who was ripped from his mother’s hands by floodwaters on Monday after being crippled by the storm on Saturday, the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department said. .

Water and weather conditions improved enough by Sunday afternoon to allow the search to continue. Ongoing monitoring of the river, as well as surrounding floodwaters in San Miguel, has indicated a drop in water levels and will allow the team to search new areas, the sheriff’s department said.

The toddler and her mother were on their way to school on Monday when the floodwater flooded their SUV. The mother managed to get Kyle out of the car seat and held him, but his hands slipped and they were separated.

The mother was later pulled safely out of the water. But Kyle was nowhere to be found.

Members of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team, and California Highway Patrol air units were looking for the boy. National Guard troops were once involved in the search, but have since been released from the mission.


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