California is preparing for severe flooding: residents are asked to stock up on food for 2 weeks - ForumDaily
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California prepares for severe flooding: residents are asked to stock up on food for 2 weeks

Officials in California are asking residents to prepare for a massive storm that will hit the region with heavy rain later this week. The state continues to recover from the colossal amount of snow that fell in mountain communities, reports CNN.

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About 16 million people in central and northern California, including the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, are on watch for flooding ahead of a storm that could hit the region with dangerous amounts of rain in most places where there is currently a huge amount of snow from previous severe storms.

“The combination of heavy rains and melting snow could lead to flooding,” the Weather Prediction Center said in a statement. "Creeks and rivers in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada will be the most vulnerable to flooding from rain and snowmelt."

In response to the ominous forecast, Marin and Monterey County officials have begun preparations for an impending storm that is expected to hit the area as a severe atmospheric fluvial event. Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow bands of moisture in the atmosphere that carry warm air and water vapor from the tropics. They can stretch thousands of miles and shed rain and snow when they reach the shore. These columns of vapor move with the weather, carrying an amount of water vapor roughly equal to the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

On the subject: Winter storm in California: people are trapped under a 3-meter layer of snow without food and help

In the Big Sur community in Monterey County, emergency services advised residents and businesses to stock up on essentials that would last at least two weeks. The county has also provided sandbags to residents who need them to protect their property. The Big Sur area, located about 240 km south of San Francisco, is one of the famous tourist attractions of central California with picturesque cliffs, mountains and hidden beaches along the Pacific Coast Highway.

Marin County Fire Department officials will be prepared for rescue efforts in anticipation of possible flooding, County Fire Chief Jason Weber said.

“All of our tanks are full due to storms earlier this year. When the reservoirs are full, we expect our streams to rise faster and most of the rain will become flooding,” Weber said.

Marin County, which has been monitoring floods since March 2, has a California City Search and Rescue team based in Marin County, Weber said, and will lend resources to other counties as needed.

The severe weather threat this week came as much of California was hit by several heavy snowfalls that made roads impassable for several days. Power went out in many homes due to the drop in temperature.

In hard-hit San Bernardino County, where mountain residents have been trapped in their homes, crews conducted dozens of rescues over the weekend, the county's sheriff's department posted on Facebook. On the evening of March 6, the county continued its well testing and community outreach, the Sheriff's Department said. Despite clearing large amounts of snow, some roads remained closed early on 8 March.

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On March 7, volunteer pilots from the non-profit organization Caldart airlifted food, water and shovels to residents of the San Bernardino highlands due to impassable roads, CNN affiliate KCAL/KCBS reported.

In addition to the heavy snow that hit the state last week, more than 30 cm of snow has already fallen in some mountainous areas of Northern California this week.

The upcoming atmospheric river event that will hit California won't be the first this year. Late last year and into the new year, multiple torrential rains from atmospheric rivers devastated much of the state, flooding entire neighborhoods and triggering landslides, killing at least 18 people.

Danger of rain on top of existing snow

The atmospheric river expected this week will affect much of California.

The Weather Forecasting Center reports that parts of the state are at risk of excessive rain from March 9 to 10 at a level of 3 out of 4, the second highest on the center's scale.

The storm is expected to bring significant rainfall as well as heavy snow cover. The National Weather Service expects total rainfall to be between 5 and 10 cm, with up to 20 cm in some cases.

“The uncertainty is how much precipitation will be absorbed by the snow cover before there is a significant release of this water into rivers,” the Weather Prediction Center said in a statement. “It is likely that some of the precipitation will simply be absorbed by many meters of snow at the highest points, but at lower altitudes, usually below 1,5 thousand meters, there will most likely not be the snow cover necessary to absorb the several cm of expected precipitation.” .

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In addition, the threat of heavy rain seeping into deep snow could cause the weight of the snow to increase, potentially causing roofs to collapse, the forecast center noted. "Affected communities are urged to remove existing snow from rooftops to mitigate the impact," the meteorological agency added.

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