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

Nisga’a leader named UNBC chancellor

Dr. Joseph Arthur Gosnell is the first Indigenous leader to assume the role

Fire forces 36 people at Vanderhoof care home to evacuate

No one was hurt after the fire at Stuart Nechako Manor

Repen: FOI data proves Telkwans being ripped off by ICBC

Former Telkwa mayor received a response from ICBC and says the results don’t look good for residents

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from B.C. pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

Haida youth travels to New York for UN forum on Indigenous issues

Haana Edensaw presented her speech in Xaad Kil, Masset dialect of the Haida language

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Can you put your phone down for Mother’s Day?

#DiningMode campaign encourages people to leave the phone alone while eating

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

SPCA investigating after newborn kittens found in Vancouver dumpster

The kittens were found suffering from hypothermia and dehydration

Judge rejects hunter’s bid to get back a sheep shot in northern B.C.

Despite expert testimony, judgement says ram probably underage

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

“Oona River Poems” captures northwest B.C.’s landscapes

Canadian writer Peter Christensen releases his latest book, will tour the northwest later this year

Most Read