A new storm hits California, victim of a particularly rainy winter

A new storm hits California, victim of a particularly rainy winter


An umpteenth storm swept through California on Friday, causing flooding and evacuation orders in several areas already affected by a particularly rainy winter in recent weeks. 

Up to 23 centimeters of precipitation are expected in places. This rain, from a rather warm depression, is likely to melt part of the exceptional snowpack accumulated over the past three months.

Enough to cause runoff that is impossible to contain for the courses of state water.

Rain on “soil saturated” with water from this winter's storms and on “the thick snowpack will cause significant flooding,” the US Weather Service (NWS) has warned.

At higher elevations, snowfall in the mountains of northern California is expected to “cause traffic difficulties.”

US President Joe Biden on Friday approved a declaration of a state of emergency in California , to facilitate assistance from the Federal State.

“California is deploying every tool at its disposal to protect communities from the relentless and deadly storms battering our state,” Governor Gavin Newsom said, calling for this emergency assistance.

Numerous orders evacuation notices have been issued, particularly in northern California, where seven rivers could experience major flooding.

California, the most populous state in the country, has a particularly rainy winter. In January in particular, a series of consecutive storms caused multiple floods, landslides and falling trees, resulting in the death of 20 people.

“Pineapple Express” < /p>

The current storm is fed, like most others this winter, by an “atmospheric river”, a gigantic corridor of rain that carries water vapor stored in the tropics, often around Hawaii , earning them the nickname “Pineapple Express”.

“Stay home tonight if you can,” the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, near San Francisco, advised on Twitter.

A car was crushed by a falling tree in the area, in Redwood City, but driver and passenger should be fine, according to the sheriff.

In eastern California, the Sierra Nevada mountain range is covered in a snow much thicker than normal for weeks.

Faced with new snowfall on Friday, several ski resorts in the region closed their doors. In South Lake Tahoe, the weight of accumulated snow caused the roof of a gas station to collapse, which started a fire, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Local firefighters explained daily that several similar incidents had taken place in recent days.

“No one was injured in any of these incidents, which is remarkable,” said one of their managers, Kim George.< /p>

Further south, in the San Bernardino Mountains near Los Angeles, some villages are just beginning to become accessible again, after being cut off from the world for several days, even weeks for some hamlets.

Some residents have expressed annoyance at the slow turnaround, and one man even stole a municipal snowplow in Big Bear last Saturday.

In the powder, however, he didn't managed to cover his tracks: the machine was equipped with a tracking device, and he was easily stopped by the forces. are in order.