Strong storm causes heavy rain and power interruptions in California.

A violent storm caused 45-foot waves at sea, dropped pouring rain on already saturated ground, and prompted flood and mudslide warnings.

The storm’s effects will increase in the afternoon, and more than 8 million Bay Area residents should limit travel. Gov. Gavin Newsom activated National Guard units to bolster disaster response as a storm slammed the state’s coastline.

Fire and rescue equipment and people are prepositioned in flood-prone locations.

Meteorologist Cynthia Palmer in the National Weather Service’s San Francisco office recommends charging phones, computers, and tablets while you can. If the power goes out, having storm information and something to watch will be helpful.

The storm is called a “bomb cyclone” because of its rapid drop in air pressure and extreme intensity.

Meteorologist Rick Canepa of the National Weather Service’s San Francisco office stated the storm lasted 30 hours. Thursday afternoon or evening will be dry.

Forecasters warn that Northern California could get 10 inches or more of rain next week. National Weather Service: Wednesday’s storm might cause “loss of human life” by downing trees, floods, washing out highways, and collapsing slopes.

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Even then, experts warn, the danger remains. Other systems at sea could bring extra rain to the region.

Early Wednesday, a suspected tornado hit Montgomery, Alabama. No deaths were reported, but 50 dwellings were damaged. Wednesday was okay in California.

Sacramento floods kill, rescue drivers.

Two more deaths were found Wednesday after floods in south Sacramento County, raising the death toll from New Year’s Eve to three.

The third victim was located in an underwater vehicle, said Sgt. Amar Gandhi.

Gandhi stated Wednesday night that the victim was unidentified, and no other details were available.

Officers found a woman’s body while retrieving flooded automobiles in the morning.

Sunday, investigators found a body in a submerged car. Gandhi said Sacramento County rescue attempts continue.

Several motorists were rescued from flooded highways and fallen trees in Northern California.

Fallen trees on a city road imprisoned a family Wednesday night.

Californians lose power

Karla Nemeth, head of the California Department of Water Resources, says heavy rain and strong winds make trees more likely to fall and create power outages.

Officials and electrical companies encouraged households to create emergency kits and charge crucial equipment.

According to, 178,000 homes and businesses lost power Wednesday night. North coast outages were more common.

Storm-proofing homeless

Magaly Rowell waited for her bus under an umbrella in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights area. She was braving the elements, not for her security business work, but to feed homeless people at a local church.

“It’s not that horrible if there’s no wind,” Rowell commented as torrents of water rushed down Folsom Street. “Today’s wind makes it difficult. Homeless folks scare me. They suffer most in this weather.”

Coastal cities evacuated

Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara issued evacuation orders Wednesday due to mudslides and flooding.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown issued mandatory evacuation orders for fire scar regions due to flooding and debris flows.

Due to flooding and debris flow fears, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office issued multiple evacuation orders for the county’s south Wednesday.

Storm delays flights

High gusts and heavy rains are already disrupting Bay Area flights, with more expected as the peak approaches.

Wednesday afternoon, 8% of flights at San Francisco International Airport were canceled.

Doug Yakel, an airport spokesman, said 191 aircraft had been delayed an average of 35 minutes. “Low ceilings and winds cause delays and cancellations,” he told USA TODAY.

Oakland International Airport’s operations team is prepared, a representative said. Oakland-bound passengers should check their airline’s app or website for flight updates.

California’s “bomb cyclone” flight waivers:

Southwest offers free rebooking for Wednesday flights to and from Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Jose. Rebooking must be within 14 days of the original travel date and use the same city pairs.

Delta Air Lines canceled Thursday and Friday flights to or from San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, San Jose, and Fresno. When rebooked by Jan. 8, the fare difference is waived.

Flood-ready residents

Papenhausen Hardware co-owner Karl Aguilar said San Francisco consumers were anxious about flooding.

Last week, many individuals focused on roofs – leaks, windows, etc. Aguilar. People grew more concerned with flood mitigation at one point. This storm is flood mitigation.”

Grace Daryanani at Bulls Head has sandbags and wet/dry vacuums. Her space has flooded, but a new outdoor dining area may help.

Pre-storm forecasters warned of flooding and severe winds. The Bay Area National Weather Service warned that the upcoming “brutal” storm “has to be taken seriously.”

Palmer: “The winds are the big topic right now.” Coastal locations might see 40 to 50 mph winds, and mountain areas could get 80 mph gusts.

Flooding and landslides expected

Because the earth was already saturated from New Year’s Eve rain, Wednesday’s storm might inflict harm.

“Smaller watersheds and steep slopes are concerns. Mudslides, minor landslides, and urban and small creek floods might be serious Wednesday night “UCLA climatologist Daniel Swain said so.

South might see severe weather and tornadoes.

Wednesday’s storms also impacted the South. Florida, Georgia, and North and South Carolina saw heavy rainfall, flash floods, and severe weather.

At 3:14 a.m. Wednesday, a probable tornado hit east Montgomery, Alabama.

Rodney Penn, who was home when the storm came, said a fallen tree limb damaged his wife’s car windows but did not damage his apartment.

Penn: “It sounded like a thousand baseball bats hitting the house at once.”

Wednesday, five South Carolina counties were under a tornado watch.

California rains don’t end West’s drought.

According to Swain, many of California’s major reservoirs are still low due to the recent drought.

“They have room to absorb water,” he remarked.

Karla Nemeth, director of the California Department of Water Resources, said the state is in a flood and drought emergency.

“After three years of drought, many of our trees are stressed, the ground is saturated, and fell trees might cause flooding and power outages,” she warned.

The rains may ease the short-term drought in Northern California along the coast, but they won’t help the West overall.

“It won’t assist in the Colorado basin, but it will in California,” Swain said.

Canepa said two other probable storms are in the Pacific: one might reach late Friday and last through Sunday, and another could come Tuesday.

Both might provide above-normal rain until mid-January.

Next week’s forecast ranges from a few moderate storms to one or more atmospheric river events.

atmospheric river

The second of three or four storms heading for California comes from the Pacific. It’s an atmospheric river called a Pineapple Express because it starts in Hawaii.

Warm, moist air from the islands moves over the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast, causing these storms.

Atmospheric rivers are lengthy, flowing regions that convey water vapor over 250-375 kilometers. Longer than 1,000 miles, they can transport more water than the Mississippi. When water vapor reaches the cooler western air, it rains heavily.


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