Californians Are Asked to Be Careful During More Storms

26M already are under a flood watch
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2023 5:30 PM CST
Californians Are Asked to Be Careful During More Storms
Destroyed wooden tables fill a picnic area Friday at California's Seacliff State Beach in Aptos as officials lead a tour of storm damage.   (Shmuel Thaler/The Santa Cruz Sentinel via AP)

California—which already has almost 26 million residents under a flood watch, the National Weather Service says—endured still more storms on Saturday. Forecasts call for another 6 inches of rain through Sunday in much of the state, an amount not so worrisome if the ground weren't already saturated, the New York Times reports. Wind gusts up to 55mph are predicted, and rain from two more potent atmospheric river storms is supposed to run through Tuesday. With more snow ahead, some places in the Sierra Nevada Mountains will have received at least 200 inches in one month, per Axios.

"The reality is that this is just the eighth of what we anticipate will be nine atmospheric rivers —we're not done," Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a briefing in Merced County, per the AP. Since the rain began late last month, the soil in much of California has become at least 95% saturated. Even small amounts of rain now would have trouble soaking in, and runoff could lead to more flooding. The 19 people killed since the storms arrived lost their lives in rockslides, cars swamped by floodwaters, or were stuck by toppled trees, per the Times. Officials urged Californians to be careful. "I know how fatigued you all are," Newsom said Friday. "Just maintain a little more vigilance over the course of the next weekend." (More California storms stories.)

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