California gets more rain and snow, but dry days are ahead

Jan 14, 2023, 9:20 PM | Updated: Jan 15, 2023, 3:42 pm
Work continues to shore up areas at Seacliff State Beach against further damage, Friday, Jan. 13, 2...

Work continues to shore up areas at Seacliff State Beach against further damage, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, in Aptos, Calif. (Shmuel Thaler/The Santa Cruz Sentinel via AP)

(Shmuel Thaler/The Santa Cruz Sentinel via AP)

              Floodwater covers a property along River Rd. in Monterey County, Calif., as the Salinas River overflows its banks on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
            
              Floodwaters cover a property along River Rd. in Monterey County, Calif., as the Salinas River overflows its banks on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
            
              Destroyed wooden tables fill a picnic area at Seacliff State Beach on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, in Aptos, Calif. as California State Parks-Santa Cruz District Superintendent Chris Spohrer leads a tour of storm damage at the site for public officials and members of the media. Among those attending were U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta, State Senator John Liard, California Assembly member Dawn Addis, SC County CAO Carlos Palacios, and County Supervisor Zach Friend.(Shmuel Thaler/The Santa Cruz Sentinel via AP)
            
              Second District Santa Cruz County Supervisor Zach Friend and U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta, left, survey storm damage at Seacliff State Beach, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, in Aptos, Calif. (Shmuel Thaler/The Santa Cruz Sentinel via AP)
            
              Work continues to shore up areas at Seacliff State Beach against further damage, Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, in Aptos, Calif. (Shmuel Thaler/The Santa Cruz Sentinel via AP)
            
              Surfers brave the waves during a rain storm at Venice Beach in Los Angeles on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. (Keith Birmingham/The Orange County Register via AP)
            
              Surfers brave the waves during a rain storm at Venice Beach in Los Angeles on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. (Keith Birmingham/The Orange County Register via AP)
            
              People cross a bridge over a swollen Los Angeles River in Los Angeles on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. Storm-battered California got more wind, rain and snow on Saturday, raising flooding concerns, causing power outages and making travel dangerous. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Caution tape circles a storm-battered tree at Elysian Park in Los Angeles Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. California got more wind, rain and snow on Saturday, raising flooding concerns, causing power outages and making travel dangerous.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              A cyclist wears rain gear in Los Angeles Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. Storm-battered California got more wind, rain and snow on Saturday, raising flooding concerns, causing power outages and making travel dangerous.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              The Los Angeles River flows downstream in Los Angeles Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. California got more wind, rain and snow on Saturday, raising flooding concerns, causing power outages and making travel dangerous.  (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
            
              Hopland Volunteer Fire Department chief Mitch Franklin cuts away a large oak tree that fell on a vehicle, moderately injuring the driver on Old River Road, north of Hopland, Calif., in Mendocino County, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023. Storm-battered California got more wind, rain and snow on Saturday, raising flooding concerns, causing power outages and making travel dangerous. (Kent Porter/The Press Democrat via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — More rain and snow fell during the weekend in storm-battered California, making travel dangerous and prompting evacuation warnings over flooding concerns along a swollen river near Sacramento.

Bands of gusty thunderstorms started Saturday in the north and spread south, with yet another atmospheric river storm following close behind Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

Up to two inches (5 cm) of rain was predicted for the saturated Sacramento Valley, where residents of semi-rural Wilton and surrounding communities were warned to prepare to leave if the Cosumnes River continued to rise. The warning was downgraded from an evacuation order Sunday afternoon.

Gusts and up to 3 feet (91 cm) of snow were expected in the Sierra Nevada, where the weather service warned of hazardous driving conditions. Interstate 80, a key highway from the San Francisco Bay Area to Lake Tahoe ski resorts, reopened after being closed most of Saturday because of slick roads and snow.

The University of California Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab tweeted Sunday morning that it received 21.5 inches (54 centimeters) of snow in 24 hours. Its snowpack of about 10 feet (3 meters) was expected to grow several more feet by Monday.

A backcountry avalanche warning was issued for the central Sierra, including the greater Lake Tahoe area, through Monday.

The California Highway Patrol rescued three people whose car slid off a rain-slicked road and ended up teetering at the edge of a cliff in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Friday. The occupants of the car “were scared for their lives and were in disbelief” when they were pulled safely from the car as the vehicle’s front end hung precariously over the cliff’s edge, the highway patrol said in a statement.

“We cannot stress this enough. Please ONLY drive if it’s necessary,” the statement said.

Just to the south in Santa Cruz County, the tiny community of Felton Grove along the San Lorenzo River was under an evacuation warning.

The swollen Salinas River swamped farmland in Monterey County. To the east, flood warnings were in effect for Merced County in the agricultural Central Valley, where Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Saturday to take stock of problems and warn of still more possible danger.

“We’re not done,” Newsom said. He urged people to be vigilant about safety for a few more days, when the last of a parade of nine atmospheric rivers was expected to move through.

Several roads, including State Route 99, were closed because of flooding Sunday in San Joaquin County.

In Southern California, winter storm warnings and advisories were in place for mountain areas, where many roads remained impassable because of mud and rock slides. Two northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near Castaic in northern Los Angeles County were closed indefinitely after a hillside collapsed.

Downtown Los Angeles set a rainfall record Saturday with 1.82 inches (4.6 cm), the weather service said.

The series of storms has dumped rain and snow on California since late December, cutting power to thousands, swamping roads, unleashing debris flows, and triggering landslides.

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the state and ordered federal aid to supplement local recovery efforts in affected areas.

At least 19 storm-related deaths have occurred, and a 5-year-old boy remained missing after being swept out of his mother’s car by floodwaters in San Luis Obispo County.

Dry days are in this week’s forecast for California starting on Tuesday.

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

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California gets more rain and snow, but dry days are ahead