San Francisco braces for catastrophic storm that meteorologist says will be ‘the most impactful’
The West Coast is bracing for another massive storm as an ‘atmospheric river’ – a high-altitude current of dense moisture – is expected to bring drenching rains and renewed flooding to northern and central California, starting on Wednesday.
Heavy snow was also forecast to return to the Sierra Nevada mountains on Wednesday, along with coastal rain and higher-elevation snow in the Pacific Northwest.
Northern California is still recovering from a weekend Pacific storm that triggered floods, mudslides, power outages and road closures.
This time, the high winds accompanying the latest batch of impending downpours could uproot trees and knock down tree limbs, causing more blackouts.
An atmospheric storm, known as a Pineapple Express, is 500 miles off the coast of California. It is expected to hit the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday
Dark clouds are seen over the Golden Gate Bridge as heavy rainstorms approach northern California and in San Francisco
San Franciscans lined up with their cars and rushed to get sandbags outside of the Department of Public Works on Tuesday
8,500 sandbags have been given out since Saturday with another 4,000 on Tuesday – with demand rising
Sandbags are being given out as crews across the Bay Area continue to clean up after the weekends storm and gear up for the next one
On Tuesday the line of cars waiting to get free sandbags at the San Francisco public works yard stretched down the street
As many as 10,000 homes and businesses in northern California were without electricity early on Tuesday night, data from poweroutage.us showed
San Francisco appears to be directly in the firing line and is bracing for the storm to be catastrophic after it was deluged with floods and mudslides on New Year’s Eve.
‘This will likely be one of the most impactful systems on a widespread scale that this meteorologist has seen in a long while,’ the National Weather Service’s Bay Area office said. ‘This is truly a brutal system that we are looking at and needs to be taken seriously.
‘The impacts will include widespread flooding, roads washing out, hillside collapsing, trees down (potentially full groves), widespread power outages, immediate disruption to commerce, and the worst of all, likely loss of human life.’
Dark clouds are seen over the Golden Gate Bridge as rainstorms approach northern California
San Francisco Public Works are now limiting sandbags to five per address, because of a limited supply
Residents looking to hunker down and wait for the storm to end will want to load up on sandbags if possible
Many homeowners and business owners are scrambling to find sandbags as another round of storms threatens to bring more rain and flooding
San Franciscans lined up with their cars and rush to get sandbags outside of the Department of Public Works
San Francisco Department of Public Works workers load sandbags into a resident’s car
City workers loaded up cars as officials called other counties and suppliers to find more bags
In San Francisco, crews have been rushing to clear trash, leaves and silt that clogged some of the city’s 25,000 storm drains during Saturday’s downpour before the next storm hits.
The National Weather Service is predicting up to 6 inches of rain in San Francisco with winds of speeds up to 30 mph with gusts of 60 mph.
Mayor London Breed said city workers may not have enough time to clean all the storm drains before Wednesday and asked the public to prepare by getting sandbags to prevent flooding, avoiding unnecessary travel and only calling 911 in a life-or-death emergency.
City officials had distributed 8,500 sandbags as of Tuesday, asking residents to only get them if they have experienced flooding in the past.
Tink Troy, who lives in South San Francisco, picked up some sandbags from the city’s public works department on Tuesday.
‘They said (Saturday’s storm) was going to be bad, and it was really bad. Now they’re saying this one’s going to be worse. So I want to make sure I’m prepared and not having to do this when it’s pouring rain tomorrow,’ she said.
First responders respond to a call in Tustin of a group of adults got stranded in a submerged vehicle over the weekend. Two people have already died in the storm that took place over New Year’s Eve and more are expected to happen as the new storm rolls in
Fifteen million people are preparing to be afffected by the upcoming storm that is expected to hit Wednesday afternoon, all the way from California to Wisconsin, continuing through Thursday night or early Friday.
Urban and poorly-drained areas, together with streams, creeks, and rivers, are all at risk of flooding.
Mudslides, particularly in areas of steep terrain, are also expected. The region is particularly susceptible to flooding and debris flows at this time due to the ground being saturated from previous storms.
Every city in the Bay Area is currently under a flood warning until 4pm on Thursday as the massive storm approaches the West Coast.
The effects on San Francisco could be devastating after it already suffered devastating flooding over the weekend.
The San Francisco Fire Department said it received ‘double’ the number of calls it normally receives over the holiday weekend as a storm drenched the drought-ridden state.
‘The San Francisco Fire Department received almost 800 calls for service in a 24-hour period during this last storm – that’s about twice of what we normally receive,’ Chief Jeanine Nicholson said at a press conference on Tuesday. Although she said that the department is ‘prepared for a disaster.’
San Francisco has already experience massive flooding after receiving nearly 5.5 inches of rain over New Year’s Eve
San Francisco is preparing for two to three more inches of rain and could receive wind gusts up to 50mph on top of the flooding it already experienced
Business owners work to waterproof a restaurant ahead of the storm in San Francisco
‘It’s what we do, but we could really use the public’s help,’ she said. ‘Please stay home, and please have your flashlights [ready] and if you have generators, have fuel in them to be able to take care of yourselves and your family and not have to go out in this and then have to call 911.’
She also advised the public to only call 911 for ‘life-threatening emergencies’ and to call 311 with all other concerns.
‘We still have to run all our critical 911 calls, whether that’s a cardiac arrest or a car accident or a fire. And if you add all the flooding issues that we’ve had earlier this week, it can really overtax the system,’ the chief said at a Tuesday press conference. ‘So again, if you have a little bit of flooding in your home, call 311. If someone is having a heart attack, if someone is being swept away by water, call 911.
City Mayor London Breed, who was heavily criticized for his ‘woke’ policies last year, also called the intense rainfall and flooding over the weekend ‘unprecedented’ and said more than 8500 sandbags have already been given out to residents.
A man in San Francisco got around on a raft as high water levels prevented him from driving after the storm hit on New Year’s
The tunnel leading to the Golden Gate Bridge was flooding as drivers tried to get home safely over the weekend
The entire Bay Area is under a flood warning and as the storm continues to move east, the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada could get snow
‘I just want to say to the public, please use 911 wisely. We will have a lot of emergencies to respond too,’ Breed said. ‘We want to make sure that 911 is used as a life or death tool only.’
Videos dispersed online have already shown the coastal city heavily hit with flooding, with some residents creating rafts to get around as high flood water dominates the streets.
KRON 4 Meteorologist, John Shrable, shared a video of a man flooding on a white raft through the streets where cars were stranded. Water levels reached more than halfway up the cars after the city received nearly 5.5 inches of rain over New Year’s Eve – narrowly missing the 1994 record of 5.54 inches.
Highways were flooded on Monday, leaving many highway travelers completely stranded as some filmed out their window, with water levels nearly reaching it.
The San Anselmo Creek’s water level was so high it nearly reached the bridge level.
Another driver showed the Golden Gate Bridge tunnel with heavy flooding as scared drivers attempted to push their way through it.
A mudslide also appeared in Bernal Heights in San Francisco (pictured) after the heavy rainfall over the weekend
The area could experience more dangerous mudslides as more rain rolls in
Joey Fortman, a local reporter, was attempting to drive through the tunnel when she filmed a video. She said: ‘No s**t…this is not good. This is kind of scary actually. This is the tunnel on your way to Golden Gate, this is insane.’
A greenery area in Bernal Heights in San Francisco had a small mudslide where a small wooden fence was bench over from the weight of the mud sliding over it as it flooded the roadway. Ben Lomond Park was also heavily flooded.
‘The flooding, the debris flows, the erosion that occurred, the mudslides on the roadways, and this next system could pack an even harder punch,’ Shrable said.
Two people also died in California over the weekend. A person in Sacramento County died in a submerged vehicle, while a 72-year-old man was struck by a fallen tree in a Santa Cruz state park.
Emergency crews in Sacramento also had to rescue residents via helicopter as many roadways and highways closed down due to flooding.
In addition, the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center had to evacuate all its inmates. All 1,075 inmates were evacuated safely from the facility due to a flood warning. It is unclear when the inmates – who were taken to other facilities – will return.
As the storm continues to move, the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada can get up to two feet of snow by late Monday.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11596597/San-Francisco-braces-catastrophic-storm-meteorologist-says-impactful.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 San Francisco braces for catastrophic storm that meteorologist says will be ‘the most impactful’