California braces for more storms following Saturday’s flood

Jan 1, 2023, 5:22 PM | Updated: Jan 2, 2023, 5:04 pm
Angelo Coric points to where water levels rose after severe flooding on New Year's Day in San Franc...

Angelo Coric points to where water levels rose after severe flooding on New Year's Day in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. The Bay Area transitioned to cleaning mode after near-record rainfall hit San Francisco. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

(Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

              Angelo Coric points to where water levels rose after severe flooding on New Year's Day in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. The Bay Area transitioned to cleaning mode after near-record rainfall hit San Francisco. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              Moored boats are seen in Lake Tahoe as a coat of fresh snow is seen on a mountain the morning after a winter storm pelted the region with a large amount of snow, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              Vehicles travel along a snow-lined U.S. Route 50 the morning after a winter storm pelted the region with a large amount of snow, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              Jenny Wapner embraces Chef Mamiko Kobayashi at Rintaro on New Year's Day in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. The Bay Area transitioned to cleaning mode after near-record rainfall hit San Francisco. The restaurant was flooded with several feet of water. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              Tree branches block a road in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. California was drying out and digging out on New Year's Day after a powerful storm brought drenching rain or heavy snowfall to much of the state, snarling traffic and closing highways. (AP Photo/Kathleen Ronayne)
            
              A fallen tree blocks the street next to Fort Sutter Medical Complex in Sacramento, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. California was drying out and digging out on New Year's Day after a powerful storm brought drenching rain or heavy snowfall to much of the state, snarling traffic and closing highways. (AP Photo/Sophie Austin)
            
              From left, Rintaro employees Aaron Linenberger and Akiko Mochizuki clean up from Saturday's floodwater at the restaurant on New Year's Day in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. The Bay Area transitioned to cleaning mode after near-record rainfall hit San Francisco. The restaurant was flooded with several feet of water. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              Bryon Wilson, left, helps a customer remove snow accumulated on a vehicle at Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa the morning after a winter storm pelted the region with a large amount of snow, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              Bryon Wilson, right, helps Shobhit, last name withheld, left, remove snow accumulated on a vehicle at Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa the morning after a winter storm pelted the region with a large amount of snow, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              A snow plow works to clear snow on a road, the morning after a winter storm pelted the region with a large amount of snow, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              Angelo Coric points to where water levels rose after severe flooding on New Year's Day in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. The Bay Area transitioned to cleaning mode after near-record rainfall hit San Francisco. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              Moored boats are seen in Lake Tahoe as a coat of fresh snow is seen on a mountain the morning after a winter storm pelted the region with a large amount of snow, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              Vehicles travel along a snow-lined U.S. Route 50 the morning after a winter storm pelted the region with a large amount of snow, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              Jenny Wapner embraces Chef Mamiko Kobayashi at Rintaro on New Year's Day in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. The Bay Area transitioned to cleaning mode after near-record rainfall hit San Francisco. The restaurant was flooded with several feet of water. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              Tree branches block a road in Sacramento, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. California was drying out and digging out on New Year's Day after a powerful storm brought drenching rain or heavy snowfall to much of the state, snarling traffic and closing highways. (AP Photo/Kathleen Ronayne)
            
              A fallen tree blocks the street next to Fort Sutter Medical Complex in Sacramento, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. California was drying out and digging out on New Year's Day after a powerful storm brought drenching rain or heavy snowfall to much of the state, snarling traffic and closing highways. (AP Photo/Sophie Austin)
            
              From left, Rintaro employees Aaron Linenberger and Akiko Mochizuki clean up from Saturday's floodwater at the restaurant on New Year's Day in San Francisco, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. The Bay Area transitioned to cleaning mode after near-record rainfall hit San Francisco. The restaurant was flooded with several feet of water. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              Bryon Wilson, left, helps a customer remove snow accumulated on a vehicle at Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa the morning after a winter storm pelted the region with a large amount of snow, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              Bryon Wilson, right, helps Shobhit, last name withheld, left, remove snow accumulated on a vehicle at Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa the morning after a winter storm pelted the region with a large amount of snow, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              A snow plow works to clear snow on a road, the morning after a winter storm pelted the region with a large amount of snow, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. (Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              In this photo provided by Caltrans District 3, several large boulders lie in the street that fell onto Highway 50 just east of Kyburz during a storm in El Dorado National Park, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. Fortunately, no vehicles were hit. (Caltrans District 3 via AP)
            
              Nurse Katie Leonard, left, assists Scott Mathers, right, as they rescue Mathers' mother, Patsy Costello, 88, after being trapped in her vehicle for over an hour on Astrid Drive in Pleasant Hill, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. Costello drove her car on the flooded street thinking she could make it when it stalled in the two feet of water. After two hours the water had receded about a foot making it easier to rescue her. Police were called but stood by and watched after calling in a tow truck to help pull the car out of the water. Nurse Katie Leonard, of Pleasant Hill, lives down the block used her kayak to bring Costello hot tea, blankets, food and a phone to call a friend. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group via AP)
            
              This Saturday, Dec 31, 2022, photo released by Caltrans District 3, California Department of Transportation crews clear the road on Highway 50 over Echo Summit for avalanche control work in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Highway 50 is now back open to traffic. Interstate 80 remains closed. California was drying out and digging out on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, New Year's Day after a powerful storm brought drenching rain or heavy snowfall to much of the state, snarling traffic and closing highways. (Caltrans District 3 via AP)
            
              This Saturday, Dec 31, 2022, photo released by Caltrans District 3 shows vehicles stranded for several hours waiting for to clean up the roadway at Highway 50 closed at Sand Flat to Meyers due to weather conditions in Pyramid Creek, Calif. Highway 50 is now back open to traffic. Interstate 80 remains closed. California was drying out and digging out on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, New Year's Day after a powerful storm brought drenching rain or heavy snowfall to much of the state, snarling traffic and closing highways. (Caltrans District 3 via AP)
            
              This image taken Saturday, Dec 31, 2022 and released by California Highway Patrol Truckee, vehicles stranded are stranded along Interstate 80 at the Nevada State line and Colfax, Calif. Driving conditions are dangerous and treacherous, travel is not advised. There are dozens and dozens of vehicles stuck on the freeway and county roads, and we are responding to calls as Calif. California was drying out and digging out on New Year's Day after a powerful storm brought drenching rain or heavy snowfall to much of the state, snarling traffic and closing highways. (California Highway Patrol Truckee via AP)
            
              This image taken Saturday, Dec 31, 2022 and released by California Highway Patrol Truckee, vehicles stranded are stranded along Interstate 80 at the Nevada State line and Colfax, Calif. Driving conditions are dangerous and treacherous, travel is not advised. There are dozens and dozens of vehicles stuck on the freeway and county roads, and we are responding to calls as Calif. California was drying out and digging out on New Year's Day after a powerful storm brought drenching rain or heavy snowfall to much of the state, snarling traffic and closing highways. (California Highway Patrol Truckee via AP)
            
              This Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, photo released by Caltrans District 3, shows Sierra highway back open but chain controls remain in effect as crews clean up in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. California was drying out and digging out on New Year's Day after a powerful storm brought drenching rain or heavy snowfall to much of the state, snarling traffic and closing highways. (Caltrans District 3 via AP)
            
              Three vehicles are submerged on Dillard Road west of Highway 99 in south Sacramento County in Wilton, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023, after heavy rains on New Year's Eve produced levee breaks. Saturday's system was warmer and wetter, while storms this week will be colder, said Hannah Chandler-Cooley, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Sacramento. The Sacramento region could receive a total of 4 to 5 inches (10 to 13 centimeters) of rain over the week, Chandler-Cooley said. (Hector Amezcua/The Sacramento Bee via AP)
            
              Nurse Katie Leonard, left, hands a cup of hot tea to Patsy Costello, 88, as she sits trapped in her vehicle for over an hour on Astrid Drive in Pleasant Hill, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. Costello drove her car on the flooded street thinking she could make it when it stalled in the two feet of water. After two hours the water had receded about a foot making it easier to rescue her. Police were called but stood by and watched after calling in a tow truck to help pull the car out of the water. Nurse Katie Leonard, of Pleasant Hill, lives down the block used her kayak to bring Costello hot tea, blankets, food and a phone to call a friend. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group via AP)
            
              Pedestrians walk along a road as a snow plow works in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. A winter storm warning has been issued for the greater Lake Tahoe area until Sunday. (Stephen Lam/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
            
              Traffic maneuvers around a fallen tree after a it was blown over by a passing storm in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. California was drying out and digging out on New Year's Day after a powerful storm brought drenching rain or heavy snowfall to much of the state, snarling traffic and closing highways. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
            
              Traffic maneuvers around a fallen tree after a it was blown over by a passing storm in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2023. California was drying out and digging out on New Year's Day after a powerful storm brought drenching rain or heavy snowfall to much of the state, snarling traffic and closing highways. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Northern California residents are bracing for another round of powerful storms this week after flooding from a New Year’s Eve deluge killed one person, prompted the evacuation of more than 1,000 inmates in a county jail and washed away a section of a levee system that protects mostly rural farmland.

In south Sacramento County, crews rushed to repair a 200 foot (60.96 meters) section of a roughly 34 mile (54.72 kilometers) levee system along the Cosumnes River that protects just over 53 square miles (137.27 square kilometers) of mostly vineyards and cattle ranches. Crews hope to finish repairs before the next storm is forecasted to hit on Wednesday. If they can’t, they’ll seal whatever progress they have made with plastic and sandbags and hope for the best.

A weather phenomenon known as an “atmospheric river” dumped up to 5 inches (12.70 centimeters) of rain in the Sacramento region and up to a foot (30.48 centimeters) of snow in the mountains on Saturday, said Eric Kurth, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

More rain was expected to move into the area Monday night. Another powerful system is expected Wednesday and Thursday that could bring up to 3.5 inches (8.89 centimeters) of rain in the Sacramento Valley and up to 3 feet (0.91 meters) of snow in the mountains along with wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour (80.4 kilometers per hour).

Then another storm is forecasted to hit the area this weekend, with forecasters anticipating up to 2 inches (5.08 centimeters) of rain in the valley and snow of up to 2 feet (0.61 meters) in the mountains.

In the San Francisco Bay area, a National Weather Service forecast warned Wednesday’s storm could cause widespread flooding and power outages, calling it “truly a brutal system that we are looking at and needs to be taken seriously.”

Repeated storms make floods more likely. “It’s something we’re going to be keeping a close eye on, especially with elevated stream levels (and) saturated ground from our previous storm,” Kurth said. “With what we’re going to be getting … adding on to that previous storm is really the big issue.”

The Wilton Rancheria tribe said flood waters threatened to disturb ancestral burial sites along the Cosumnes River and asked the public to report to them any sightings of washed up artifacts or remains, but to leave them undisturbed. Unlike most major California rivers, the Cosumnes River is not dammed, meaning there is no basin to collect excess water during major rain events.

“We’re just kind of at nature’s mercy,” said Mark Hite, a member of the board for Reclamation District 800 that oversees the levee system.

Residents on Monday were still drying out from Saturday’s storm, which prompted officials to order the evacuation of the Point Pleasant Community near the Cosumnes River in South Sacramento County. That included 1,075 inmates plus staff at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, who evacuated as a precaution though the jail had not flooded. Inmates were taken to nearby jails with no timetable for their return, according to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Amar Gandhi.

Emergency crews rescued motorists on New Year’s Eve into Sunday morning. On Sunday they 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. Highway 99 was closed for much of the day Sunday, but has since reopened in both directions

Rainfall in downtown San Francisco hit 5.46 inches (13.87 cm) on New Year’s Eve, making it the second-wettest day on record, behind a November 1994 deluge, the National Weather Service said.

In Southern California, several people were rescued after floodwaters inundated cars in San Bernardino and Orange counties. No major injuries were reported. The rain stopped just in time for the annual Rose Parade, but rain did fall during the Rose Bowl college football game between Utah and Penn State.

To the north in the state’s capital, crews cleared toppled trees from roads and sidewalks, and at least 5,347 customers still lacked power Monday afternoon across Sacramento County, down from more than 150,000 two days earlier, according to a Sacramento Municipal Utility District online map.

The rain was welcomed in drought-parched California as the past three years have been the state’s driest on record. Most of the state’s major reservoirs were still well below their historical averages. The one exception was Folsom Lake near Sacramento, which was at 153% of its historical average on Sunday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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California braces for more storms following Saturday’s flood