170,000 Californians without power as ‘bomb cyclone’ hits west coast with torrential rain
More than 170,000 people are without power in California as the “bomb cyclone” batters the West Coast with torrential rain and 85 mph winds.
Peak wind gusts reach up to 85 miles per hour in central California, with many areas seeing gusts as low as 50 miles per hour.
“If you’ve got power left, it’s a good idea to charge your phone, computer and tablet now while you can,” said a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
The wind is so strong that a Valero gas station in San Francisco bowed under its weight. The overhead structure now lies on its side while the King Drive and Callan Boulevard gas pumps are being ripped out of the ground.
The bomb cyclone has yet to reach its peak intensity as it races along the coast and creates 45-foot waves at sea; rising water levels in San Francisco and the need for rescue operations by Sacramento Fire Departments.
The wind is so strong that a Valero gas station in San Francisco bowed under its weight. The overhead structure now lies on its side while the King Drive and Callan Boulevard gas pumps are being ripped out of the ground
The wind has knocked the structure over as gusts reach up to 85 miles per hour
The bomb cyclone (pictured) has swept across the state, bringing heavy rain for up to 30 hours and potentially claiming lives
Los Angeles can expect two to three inches of rain through Sunday, while Big Sur can expect three to five inches, according to the Weather Channel.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has already declared a state of emergency as the state faces deadly flood warnings, particularly along coastal areas. Officials in California have also ordered evacuations in high-risk coastal areas.
Officials have also warned people across Northern California to stay off the streets.
“We anticipate this could be one of the most challenging and impactful storms to make landfall in California in the past five years,” said Nancy Ward, the new director of the California governor’s office of emergency services.
The storm, which brought howling winds to northern California Wednesday night, is one of three so-called atmospheric river storms to hit the drought-stricken state in the last week.
In Southern California, the storm was expected to peak overnight, with Santa Barbara and Ventura counties likely to see the most rain, forecasters said.
The first evacuations have been ordered for those living in areas recently burned by three Santa Barbara County wildfires, where heavy rains forecast for the night could cause widespread flooding and unleash streams of debris. County officials didn’t have an exact number on how many people were under evacuation orders, but Susan Klein-Rothschild, a spokeswoman for the county’s Emergency Operations Center, estimated it was in the hundreds.
The Sacramento Fire Department had to rescue a resident due to severe flooding in the area
The water level is so high it’s flooding cars and has already killed three people
A bridge in Oakland has been closed due to flooding
Among the towns ordered to be evacuated was Montecito, where five years ago huge boulders, mud and debris swept down the mountains through the town to the coast, killing 23 people and destroying more than 100 homes. The city is home to many celebrities including Oprah Winfrey and Prince Harry as well as Meghan Markle.
“We’re talking about a lot of water coming off the tops of the hills and going into the creeks and streams and when it comes down it gains momentum and that’s the initial danger,” Montecito Fire Chief Kevin Taylor said.
Elsewhere, a 45-mile section of Coastal Highway 1, which runs through Big Sur, was closed Wednesday night in anticipation of flooding and falling rocks. Further north, a 25-mile stretch of Highway 101 was closed due to several downed trees.
Officials asked drivers to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary, as the storm is expected to drop up to 10 inches of rain on an area where hills have already been saturated for the past month.
As of Wednesday evening, nine counties in Northern California were under flood surveillance or warnings.
Evacuation orders were in effect in Santa Cruz County’s Paradise Park along the fast-flowing San Lorenzo River, as well as areas along the Pajaro River. Residents who fled wildfires in the Santa Cruz Mountains in 2020 packed their bags as the towns of Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond and Felton were warned to prepare to evacuate.
The storm has caused California to declare a state of emergency and some areas to be evacuated
Almost the entire coast is under flood protection, as some areas are still affected by the New Year’s Eve storm
Sonoma County authorities issued an evacuation alert for residents along a stretch of the Russian River.
Meanwhile, 8,500 sandbags distributed by officials weren’t enough to meet demand as forecasters warned of imminent flooding.
Residents are also being warned to beware of mudslides due to the heavy rains, which could be up to an inch an hour in some areas, San Francisco’s National Weather Service said.
The rain is expected to last about 30 hours and not stop until late Thursday evening.
Three deaths from flooding have already been confirmed in Sacramento.
The Sacramento Sheriff’s Office recovered a submerged body from a vehicle on Wednesday. In San Francisco, a family had to be rescued after a tree fell and trapped them.
California was hit by a devastating storm on New Year’s Eve that has drenched the state with five inches of rain, according to USA Today.
The already saturated ground could cause landslides and mudslides, and the worst of the flooding is in low-elevation areas.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11601217/170k-Californians-without-power-bomb-cyclone-batters-West-Coast-heavy-rainfall.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 170,000 Californians without power as ‘bomb cyclone’ hits west coast with torrential rain