Soaked California braces for more wet weather – death toll hits 18

Soaked California is set to be slammed by fresh rain and snow after storms in the state caused at least 18 deaths. The atmospheric river storms have drenched the Golden State which has seen widespread damage caused by flooding and mudslides.

Friday brought showers to Northern California, however, additional stronger surges of moisture were expected to again spread rain and snow elsewhere in the state over the coming days.

“Another surge of atmospheric moisture will arrive on Saturday with heavy rain, possible flooding, heavy mountain snow and gusty winds,” the National Weather Service said in a Twitter update.

However, the weather is set to be less severe than last week with flooding limited to roads, although mudslide-prone areas were warned to “expect more movement” by the NWS.

Flood warnings were in effect for the Salinas River in an agricultural valley about 90 miles south of San Francisco. At least 20,000 acres of farmland were at risk of flooding, the NWS said.

Parts of California have been slammed with torrential downpours, caused by atmospheric river storms since late December, putting a dent in the drought which has plagued the state.

However, the rain has also caused flooding, power outages and debris flows.

In some parts of Northern California, cars were submerged, trees were uprooted and roofs were blown off homes. There have been at least 18 storm-related deaths.

San Francisco saw more rain in the first 11 days of January than in the first 11 months of 2022.

The storms prompted evacuation orders last week in parts of California, including at celebrity hotspot Montecito – home to Prince Harry, Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres among other A-listers.

READ MORE: California storms: Two more downpours on the way as 18 dead

The current bout of wet weather was predicted to last until at least Tuesday, with Coastal areas most affected and up to six feet of snow predicted in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom said the death toll was “likely to grow” as the severe weather continued.

“The fact is that we’re not out of the woods; we expect these storms to continue at least through the 18th of this month,” Gov. Newsom said.

The state Office of Emergency Services said it was prepositioning resources – such as swift-water rescue teams, and firefighting personnel across eight counties in the central and northern regions.

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