California Braces for More Flooding After Powerful Pacific Storm

by Ethan Kim
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A powerful storm that hit California, USA caused serious damage and sadly, two deaths. The wind, rain and snow made the state extra wet and flooding is likely in some spots on Wednesday. In Sacramento, there was a lot of hail.

It may rain and snow a lot Wednesday in southern California and central Arizona, so people should be careful. On Tuesday, some people in north-central Arizona were told to get ready to leave because the water levels in rivers and lakes are getting higher.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, people reported seeing trees and power lines down. An Amtrak train with 55 passengers on it hit a tree which was blocking its way and it came off of the tracks near a village called Porta Costa. Luckily, the train stayed upright and no one got injured at all!

In two Bay Area communities, Portola Valley and Rossmoor, there were accidents involving falling trees. In Portola Valley, a man in a sewer truck was killed when a tree fell onto it. In Rossmoor, a car had a large tree fall on it and the driver got injured while the passenger died.

A really strong windstorm happened over the Monterey Bay region. It caused wind gusts as high as 80 miles per hour (129 kilometers per hour) in the middle of the day. Along the coastline of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, very strong winds blew ocean foam around like big snowflakes! The strongest winds were experienced in Santa Cruz mountain communities and Boulder Creek where wind speeds reached 76 mph (122 kph).

Frank Kuhr was waiting at a supermarket on Tuesday afternoon for workers to take down some very tall trees that were stopping people from using the highway. He said it was really windy and you could see branches flying around and hear trees falling and cracking. He also said ‘This one’s a doozy’, meaning it was a big problem. On Wednesday morning, there were 133,000 people without electricity across the state according to PowerOutage.us.

The National Weather Service reported that on Tuesday, the first day of spring, a storm had come from a low pressure system coming all the way from the Pacific. This was California’s 12th wet weather event since December, which included February snowstorms caused by cold air from the Arctic.

The strong storms have caused major flooding and dumped tons of snow on the mountains. Because of this, some roofs are unable to handle all the weight and need to be fixed. In addition, it is getting harder for crews to keep highways from being blocked by avalanches.

Mammoth Mountain ski resort in the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains said that it will remain open for skiing and snowboarding until at least July’s end.

The main lodge has had a total of 634 inches (16.1 meters) of snow so far this season. That’s almost as much snow as the record-setting amount from the 2010-2011 season, which was 668 inches (16.9 meters). If we get more snow, we might break that record!

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