Flood watches, evacuation orders as storm hits California

National Weather Service issued a flash-flood watch for entire San Francisco Bay Area, central coast

A powerful storm descended on California Saturday, threatening flooding in the entire San Francisco Bay Area and areas stripped bare by devastating wildfires.

The storm was expected to bring up to 4 inches of rain in some areas, with winds gusting to 80 mph in the mountains, 10-foot waves in the Pacific and several feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada and other mountain ranges.

The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood watch through Saturday morning for the entire San Francisco Bay Area and much of the Central Coast.

“Heavy rainfall over a short amount of time will likely overwhelm storm drains and result in flooding of low-lying urban areas. Also, expect rapid rises on small streams and creeks” which could overflow, the weather service warned.

Evacuations were ordered or recommended for many areas of Northern and Southern California that were hit by wildfires in recent months. Authorities fear that an inch of rain an hour could send fire debris, mud and boulders sluicing down denuded hillsides.

In Malibu, where a fire last year destroyed many homes, Vidette Bell had her front door and garage barricaded with sandbags even before a previous storm hit.

“I paid $3,000 to have these sandbags delivered,” Bell told KCAL-TV on Friday. “I didn’t want to have my house survive a fire and then get invaded with mud.”

In the Holy Jim fire area southeast of Los Angeles, where an August wildfire scoured tens of thousands of acres in the Cleveland National Forest, volunteers using heavy equipment removed debris and deepened a creek bed to help prevent flooding.

“In the last two days we’ve been able to move 19 dump trucks worth of debris from the creek bed and reinforce some of the walls here,” Keith Kothlow of Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization, told KABC-TV.

Santa Barbara County ordered evacuations of residents in designated debris-flow risk areas near the Thomas, Whittier and Sherpa fire scars. Nearby residents were urged to also consider leaving.

It has only been a little over a year since a downpour on the huge Thomas Fire burn scar unleashed a massive debris flow that destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes in the seaside community of Montecito.

The disaster killed 21 people, and two others have never been found.

The weather service issued flash-flood watches for areas burned by the Mendocino Complex, Camp and Carr wildfires in Northern California.

Winter storm warnings went into effect in the Sierra Nevada along with avalanche warnings on the Nevada side of the range. The Sierra is already loaded with snow from a series of storms in January. The weather service said areas could see accumulations of up to 10 feet over the next few days as a series of storms blew through.

Numerous areas of the state were under warnings for high winds, some that could potentially knock down trees and power lines.

Two cold weather systems will follow on Sunday and Monday, bringing additional widespread showers and snow, forecasters said.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Hope’s Wheeled Wild Women hit the road for cancer research

Group of friends ready for the 200-km bike trek that ends in Hope

PHOTOS: Paintings return to Kilby for fifth annual festival

The Plein Air Festival will be taking place at the historic site all weekend

Cougar spotted in Seabird Island

Residents are asked to report all sightings to conservation

VIDEO: Masterpieces begin to take shape at Hope’s chainsaw competition

More than a dozen chainsaw carvers, including one 14-year-old carver, taking part in four-day event

Agassiz, Harrison churches come together to tackle homelessness

A new group is developing a resource centre to connect the homeless to local services

Sts’ailes invites adults to become engaged in Halq’eméylem with new video series

‘Qw’oqwel te Qw’oqwel’ gives language learners an immersive way to learn Halq’eméylem

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Portland, Oregon, awaits right-wing rally, counter protests

Patriot Prayer’s Joey Gibson surrendered Friday on an arrest warrant for felony rioting

Police identify 45-year-old victim in South Surrey stabbing

Delphin Paul Prestbakmo died at the scene, near 18 Avenue and 152 Street

Kraft Heinz brand baby food recalled in B.C. due to possibility of insects

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the product should not be consumed

First Nations women finally to be treated equally under Indian Act: Bennett

Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action thanked the feds

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Puppy rescued from smoky South Surrey condo

Fire alarms brought firefighters to the Morgan Crossing residences around 7 p.m.

Most Read