Remnants from a historic storm left almost 50,000 homes and businesses in California without power Monday as residents braced for an onslaught of more bad weather that could bring up to 8 inches of rain in some areas and trigger additional flooding and mudslides.
The battered state faces another “atmospheric river” later this week week, AccuWeather meteorologists warn.
The latest storm was forecast to sweep across Northern California before dipping into Southern California on Tuesday. Rainfall could reach 1 inch in some areas, AccuWeather forecasts. That will be followed by an even more potent storm poised to slam Northern California late Tuesday night and Wednesday.
“The slow-moving nature of the storm and its moisture will lead to multiple hours of moderate to heavy rain,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Joe Lundberg said.
1 DEAD IN CALIFORNIA:Storm soaks San Francisco, causes power outages
►All this comes after downtown San Francisco recorded 5.46 inches of rain Saturday. That was the highest one-day total in more than 28 years and the city’s second wettest day in 174 years of record-keeping, AccuWeather reported.
►In the Sierra Nevada, 6-12 inches of snowfall is likely with locally higher amounts over the mountains – a lot of snow but far less than the several feet that fell Saturday.
►California isn’t alone in bracing for dangerous weather. A winter storm was moving across the Midwest on Monday and Tuesday with areas of heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain, the National Weather Service warned. Gusty winds will result in blowing and drifting snow, resulting in reduced visibility and difficult travel, the weather service said.
►Farther South, a strong cold front will bring the threat for thunderstorms with tornadoes, damaging winds and excessive rainfall.
San Francisco and some nearby coastal areas could see another 2-4 inches of rain, while just north of the Bay Area could see rainfall totals reaching 4-8 inches, according to AccuWeather. The Los Angeles area could see up to 2 inches of rain. The storms will result in a “high risk of dangerous and perhaps life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides,” especially in the northern and central parts of California, AccuWeather said.
Rintaro Restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood was swamped by more than three feet of floodwaters Saturday, owner Sylvan Mishima Brackett told the local ABC-TV affiliate.
“We had half of us standing on the tables, the rest of us inside. At one point, there was nothing we could do but evacuate. I had people line up, jump into chest deep water to wade into the streets – crazy,” he said.
Flood warnings and watches remained in effect in the Sacramento County area, where widespread flooding and levee breaches inundated rural roads and highways. Flooding caused by excessive rainfall and floodwaters on the Mokelumne and Cosumnes rivers may rapidly inundate some areas, the National Weather Service warned. Residents were urged to monitor later forecasts and be prepared to evacuate, the weather service said.
Emergency crews rescuing motorists on Sunday found one person dead inside a submerged vehicle near Highway 99, Dan Quiggle, deputy fire chief for operations for Cosumnes Community Service District Fire Department, told The Sacramento Bee.
The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center has issued an enhanced risk warning for severe thunderstorms over the Lower Mississippi Valley from Monday through Tuesday morning. The hazards associated with these thunderstorms are frequent lightning, severe thunderstorm wind gusts, hail and a few tornadoes, the center said. On Tuesday, the threat of severe thunderstorms and excessive rainfall move eastward, the center said.
Contributing: The Associated Press