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California wracked by bad weather

(Sacramento) California was under attack from all sides Monday, with the state the scene of flooding and mudslides that closed schools, washed away trees and knocked out power to tens of thousands of people.

Evacuation advisories have been issued in Santa Cruz County for residents threatened by flooding, including along the San Lorenzo River. Footage posted online shows the neighborhood surrounded by muddy water that nearly reached the stop sign.

Authorities are asking people to stay indoors as roads are blocked by mudslides and flooding.

Several school boards in Northern California closed their facilities Monday due to inclement weather. More than 36,000 customers were still without power in Sacramento, compared with about 350,000 on Sunday, as winds of up to 100 kilometers per hour knocked trees over power poles.

The U.S. National Weather Service has warned of an “endless march of atmospheric rivers” — storms made up of long streaks of moisture that stretch into the Pacific, producing incredible amounts of rain and snow.

Rain and snow are expected in the next few days after California was battered by storms last week with major power outages, street flooding and tidal waves.

Photo by Josh Edelson, Agence France-Presse

Streets in Aptos, south of San Jose, were flooded.

President Joe Biden issued a state of emergency for California on Monday to support the severe weather response in about 10 counties, including Sacramento, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles.

Governor Gavin Newsom said 12 people have died in the last 10 days due to severe weather. He warned that this week’s storms could be even more dangerous.

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The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for a large swath of northern and central California, where 6 to 12 inches of water is expected by Wednesday in the already saturated Sacramento area.

Photo by Fred Graves, Reuters

The Sacramento River almost reaches the Tower Bridge in California’s capital.

More severe weather is forecast for the Los Angeles area on Monday, where up to 20 centimeters of rain could fall in the mountains. Strong waves are expected on Tuesday, especially along west-facing beaches.

San Francisco has received 25 centimeters of rain since December 26. Mammoth Mountain ski resort in the eastern Sierra region was buried under three meters of snow, the National Weather Service said.

Bad weather may bring some relief from the drought drying California, but experts warn the problem is far from over.

Three weather systems swirling far out in the Pacific may eventually reach California.