US: Rainstorms flood California, 14 dead, mass evacuation underway
An "incessant parade of storms" and torrential rains as per the US National Weather Service have inundated the state of California, prompting a mass evacuation of as many as 50,000 citizens. California is faced with large-scale power outages, major damage to infrastructure, and an increased risk of flash floods as 14 people have lost their lives in the calamity, as per AP.
Power restored in around 1.2 lakh buildings
Scores of vehicles were swallowed by sinkholes and sewage water was overflowing in the streets in Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area. Some areas were at risk of dangerous mudslides amid the storm, which the National Weather Service called "the most impressive storm since January 2005." Initially, 230,000 buildings were without power; however, it was later restored in around 120,000 buildings.
Umpteen towns are flooded, risk of mudslides rising
California is tonight in a state of #emergency, with deadly #floods affecting 90 percent of residents in the state.— Chaudhary Parvez (@ChaudharyParvez) January 11, 2023
Suburbs of #LosAngeles are going underwater, the #storms forcing entire cities to evacuate.#CaliforniaStorms #Californiastorm #Storm #Rains #Flood pic.twitter.com/OhxisHzUb9
34 million people affected
California's Montecito, which is home to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, recorded around 10 inches of rainfall in just 24 hours, which is normally half a year's worth of rain. The severe weather has affected 34 million people. It had also faced similar weather conditions five years ago when 23 people were killed in mudslides and around 100 homes were decimated.
Longer storm system approaching, to last until January 17
Earlier, California Governor Gavin Newsom urged citizens to stay alert, saying that there were "several days of severe weather ahead." Authorities fear that the unrelenting showers could set off a deadly cascade of mud, boulders, and other debris on the hillsides of 17 areas in California. The meteorological agency forecast heavy downpours for Wednesday and a longer storm system from Friday to January 17.
More than 4 feet of snowfall in a day
Mammoth mountain in California is closed today because of TOO MUCH SNOW. An incredible 420cm has fallen since Christmas with over 4ft or 120cm in just in the last day alone. #Californiastorm pic.twitter.com/NeS5CbPzpZ— Anthony Farnell (@AnthonyFarnell) January 10, 2023
Heavy rain, hail, and snow coupled with strong gusts
The latest in the series of storms began on Monday and dumped over 45 cm of rain in the mountains of Southern California and 1.5 m of snow on the Sierra Nevada ski resorts. Wind gusts clocked at more than 64 km per hour in many areas. These are the product of dense atmospheric moisture that came into California from the tropical Pacific.