Storm Alerts: California braces for heavy rain and flooding

In the latest in a series of storms to hit the state this month, heavy rains from the Atmospheric River are forecast to spread across California starting Sunday, putting the West Coast at risk for further flooding.

A moderate storm moved along California's northern and central coast Saturday night, kicking off the rainy season for the nation's most populous state. Forecasters said it was a precursor to a more powerful system on Sunday, which is expected to bring heavy rainfall.

“Sunday night and Monday alone, we're looking at three to six inches of rain along the coast from the Bay Area south to Santa Barbara,” said National Weather Service Senior Meteorologist Brian Hurley.

more than 37 million people across the country are under flood watch On Sunday. Most were in California, where a watch remained in effect until Wednesday, according to the weather service.

Atmospheric river is the name given to narrow bands of moisture blown up the west coast by Pacific winds. They are responsible for California's heavy rainfall and flooding.

“The weather will be very different from Sunday morning to Sunday night.” The meteorological department said on Sunday. ‚ÄúThere will be a strong storm today. Rain starts around noon and will be heavy through the night. Moderate to severe impacts from the storm will continue into Monday with heavy rain, strong winds, high surf, thunderstorms and the potential for flooding.

While the system was expected to bring rain even to mountain communities, Mr. Hurley said.

California's Office of Emergency Services said Saturday it had deployed emergency personnel, including two rapid water rescue teams, to six counties ahead of the storm.

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Bay Area cities including San Francisco and San Jose were expected to gain Between one and two inches According to the weather service's San Francisco Bay Area office, the rain fell.

This system will bring hail and thunderstorms and gusty winds 30 to 45 miles per hour Sunday for the Gulf Coast and Central Coast regions, the weather service said.

To the south, the risk of flooding was high in the coastal communities of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, northwest of Los Angeles.

The National Weather Service in Los Angeles Two to five inches of rain could fall in the region, with up to eight inches of damaging wind gusts in the mountains 40 to 60 mph at high altitudes and elsewhere at speeds of 20 to 40 mph. On Saturday, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass urged residents to prepare and stay off the roads during the downpour.

Several fire stations in the city are clearing mounds of dirt for residents to fill their sandbags in preparation for the storm. On Sunday, construction worker Pablo Rosales was working quickly to fill his bags at a station near Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw.

“We are in a hurry because it will rain soon,” said Mr. Rosales, 53. He said. Neighbors in the nearby hills, whose streets flooded during the last storm, hired him and several of his workers to help with sandbags and levees. In the hills.

On nearby Don Ricardo Drive, part of a neighborhood with views of downtown Los Angeles, workers climbed hillsides to place sandbags behind homes. Much of the street was still caked with mud that had rolled down the hill from the previous storm.

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Officials in Santa Barbara County It issued an evacuation alert on Saturday For some areas. The warning, which remained in effect until Wednesday, asked residents to be prepared to evacuate at a moment's notice.

The city of Santa Barbara said Free emergency parking will be provided A downtown lot for residents of flood-prone areas.

Between an inch and three-quarters to two inches of rain is forecast for Los Angeles Monday night into Tuesday, Mr. Hurley said.

Although rainfall in Los Angeles is not expected to reach the levels of the devastating storm that hit the city two weeks ago, Mr. Hurley said. heavy rain

Vic is jolly Contributed report.

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