California Storm: Power Outages, Wind, Rain


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N​ote: This article is no longer being updated. For Monday’s live updates page, click here.

H​undreds of thousands of people were without power, vehicles were submerged in water and evacuation orders in place early Monday as a powerful storm dumped heavy rainfall on Southern and Central California and fueled winds that gusted over 100 mph.

T​he storm is being turbocharged by an atmospheric river that’s bringing extremely dangerous conditions, including potentially life-threatening flooding.

H​ere’s a look at the live updates from the weekend:

(​10:19 p.m. ET) Power Outages Near 1 Million

M​ore than 900,000 power outages are being reported in California, according to PowerOutage.us. That includes:

-​Sacramento County, with more than 200,000.

-​Santa Clara County, more than 136,000.

San Mateo County, about 82,000.

-​Sonoma County, about 49,000.

(​9:41 p.m. ET) Nineteen People Rescued From Sailboat Off Long Beach

F​irst responders and a good Samaritan pulled a large group of people to safety this afternoon after the 40-foot sailboat they were on got into trouble near the Long Beach breakwater.

D​ispatchers received a distress call about the boat at around 3 p.m. local time as wind and rain began to batter the area, according to the Long Beach Post.

“The rescue effort was hampered by the inclement weather,” f​ire department spokesperson Brian Fisk told the newspaper.

Fisk said it appeared that the wind broke the boat’s mast.

E​leven people had climbed onto rocks and were rescued by the fire department. Eight who remained onboard were picked up by another boat nearby. One person sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

(​9:32 p.m. ET) Water Pours Over Santa Barbara Bridge

T​he Santa Barbara Police Department shared video of muddy water rising over a bridge in the city.

A social media post from the department warned residents to stay away from creeks and flooded roadways.

“These areas are extremely dangerous,” the post said. “At night, it will be very difficult to see flooded streets and how deep the water might be. If you don’t need to be on the road, stay home!”

(​9:27 p.m. ET) Photos Show Downed Trees, Rushing Water

S​an Jose

Workers clear a tree that fell onto a home during heavy wind and rain on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in San Jose, California. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)Workers clear a tree that fell onto a home during heavy wind and rain on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in San Jose, California. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Workers clear a tree that fell onto a home during heavy wind and rain on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in San Jose, California.

(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

L​os Angeles

The Los Angeles River carries increased stormwater flow in the Los Angeles area, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)The Los Angeles River carries increased stormwater flow in the Los Angeles area, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The Los Angeles River carries increased stormwater flow in the Los Angeles area, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024.

(AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(​9:22 p.m. ET) Up To A Foot Of Rainfall Possible In Some Areas

From digital meteorologist Jonathan Belles: Southern California faces a very wet night and Monday ahead. The atmospheric river will continue to push very high amounts of moisture ashore and over the Southern California mountains, likely leading to more than a foot of rainfall in some communities. Flash flooding is expected and will likely worsen on Monday as the atmospheric river crawls eastward through the Los Angeles and eventually the San Diego metro areas. Power outages, tree damage, and overflowing rivers and streams are expected through at least Monday.

(​9:17 p.m. ET) Los Angeles Schools Plan To Be Open Tomorrow, At Least For Now

“Considering the fact that our students depend on nutrition at school, we have made the decision at this point to maintain our schools open going into tomorrow,” Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Parents and staff were urged to check for any updates at 6 a.m. in case the plan changes.

One facility, Vinedale Span School in Sun Valley, was under mandatory evacuations and students were told to report to a neighboring school.

(​9:07 p.m. ET) Flooding, Debris Closes Roads In Ventura County

Flooding, mud and other debris on roadways has shut down nearly a dozen routes in Ventura County, in the northwest part of greater Los Angeles.

“All the freeways are flooded around here,” motorist Alexis Herrera told The Associated Press as she tried to bail out her vehicle. “I don’t know how I’m going to move my car.”

(​8:46 p.m. ET) More Evacuations In Santa Barbara; Airport Closed Due To Flooding

P​olice are going door-to-door to warn residents living near parts of Mission Creek that they should leave immediately, due to rising waters.

T​he city’s airport is closed until further notice due to flooding on the airfield.

(​8:27 p.m. ET) Wind Gusts Top 100 MPH In Bay Area

A wind gust of 102 mph was reported in Marin County, on the north side of San Francisco.

A​ gust of 98 mph was reported in the San Jose area.

(​8:13 p.m. ET) Photos Show Swamped Cars, Extreme Beach Erosion

S​an Jose

Search and rescue workers investigate a car surrounded by floodwater as heavy rains caused the Guadalupe River to swell, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in San Jose, California. The vehicle was uninhabited. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)Search and rescue workers investigate a car surrounded by floodwater as heavy rains caused the Guadalupe River to swell, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in San Jose, California. The vehicle was uninhabited. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Search and rescue workers investigate a car surrounded by floodwater as heavy rains caused the Guadalupe River to swell, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, in San Jose, California. The vehicle was uninhabited.

(AP Photo/Noah Berger)

S​anta Barbara

Sand blows as a powerful long-duration atmospheric river storm, the second in less than a week, impacts California on Feb. 4, 2024, in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)Sand blows as a powerful long-duration atmospheric river storm, the second in less than a week, impacts California on Feb. 4, 2024, in Santa Barbara, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Sand blows as a powerful long-duration atmospheric river storm, the second in less than a week, impacts California on Feb. 4, 2024, in Santa Barbara, California.

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(​7:53 p.m. ET) Power Outages Top 750,000

M​ore than 750,000 homes, businesses and other utility customers in California are without electricity, according to PowerOutage.us. The number has more than doubled in the past 90 minutes.

H​ere’s a look at some numbers by county:

-​Sacramento, nearly 180,000.

Santa Clara, more than 124,000.

-​San Mateo, about 73,000

-​San Joaquin, nearly 71,500.

(​6:58 p.m. ET) 1,000-Plus Flights Canceled Or Delayed

M​ore than 1,000 flights have been canceled or delayed today at California airports in the path of the storm, according to airline tracker FlightAware. Airports most affected include those in the Los Angeles area, San Francisco, Sacramento and San Jose.

(​6:49 p.m. ET) State Of Emergency Declared For Eight Counties

California G​ov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

A news release from the governor’s office says the state has “a record 8,500 state-coordinated, prepositioned emergency response assets” ready to respond to flooding, landslides, travel impacts and 911 calls.

(6:23 p.m. ET) What Is An Atmospheric River?

Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow regions in the atmosphere that transport water vapor, like a river in the sky. When the river makes landfall, all that water vapor is released in the form of rain or snow.

The average atmospheric river carries enough water vapor to equal the flow of the Mississippi River.

The type of atmospheric river hitting California right now is also sometimes called a “Pineapple Express” because the plume of moisture stretches back across the Pacific to near Hawaii.

(​6:10 p.m. ET) Hundreds Of Thousands Without Power

Nearly 360,000 power outages are being reported in California, according to PowerOutage.us. The outages cover a large swatch of the state from Mendocino County south to Santa Barbara and Kern Counties. Inland counties affected include Sacramento, San Joaquin and Merced.

(5:39 p.m. ET) ‘Major Risks To Life And Property’

The National Weather Service issued a strongly worded forecast for the Los Angeles area calling today “one of the most dramatic weather days in recent memory.”

The report refers to the atmospheric river as a “DANGEROUS SYSTEM with major risks to life and property” warning that many roads and freeways will flood or be shut down. Heavy snow may make some mountain communities impossible to access.

On the coast, steep waves will make seas extremely dangerous. In low-lying areas, water is expected to rise over curbs and enter homes and businesses.

Rockslides and mudslides are expected.

Power outages could occur anywhere.

(5:27 p.m. ET) Winds Topple Semi-Truck

Footage from Grapevine, California shows formidable winds blowing through. The area recorded a sustained gust of 58 mph and a peak gust of 94 mph. That’s more than strong enough to qualify as hurricane force.

A semi-truck was no match for the powerful winds.

The storm system also kicked up dust and debris and sent tumbleweeds scattering across roads and parking lots.

(5:13 p.m. ET) San Francisco Airport Delays

San Francisco International Airport is currently experiencing substantial delays caused by strong winds that are making it difficult to continue flight operations.

According to FlightAware.com, inbound flights are being delayed by an average of more than four hours. That’s after a brief hold was put on all planes headed to SFO early in the day.

Departing aircraft are also struggling with the wind. Delays for departing flights currently average about 45 minutes and climbing.

(4:51 p.m. ET) The Ground Is … Breathing?

Video posted by the Santa Rosa Fire Department shows the ground moving underneath a large tree, almost as if the Earth is breathing. This is what it can look like as wind and rain weaken the soil beneath tree roots. It’s a clear sign that a tree may be about to come down.

Officials say this is a prime example of why residents should survey areas around their homes during breaks in the rain and wind.

(2:29 p.m. ET) Trees, Power Lines Downed

The California Highway Patrol has reported multiple downed trees and power lines in and around Santa Cruz. Road closures have been frequent as emergency services work to clean up from the storm.

The National Weather Service issued a warning for damaging wind sweeping the area.

Officials in San Jose have reported at least one mudslide that forced a road closure in both directions.

(2:10 p.m. ET) Impact On Sports

The final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament has been postponed due to safety concerns amid powerful wind.

It has been raining all day with wind gusts recorded at 30-40 mph.

The tournament is set to pick back up Monday morning.

Fallen portable toilets are shown at Pebble Beach Golf Links before the scheduled final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. The final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am has been postponed until Monday. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)Fallen portable toilets are shown at Pebble Beach Golf Links before the scheduled final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. The final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am has been postponed until Monday. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

Fallen portable toilets are shown at Pebble Beach Golf Links before the scheduled final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament in Pebble Beach, California, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024.

(AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

(1:44 p.m. ET) Potentially Dangerous Debris Flow

We’re keeping an eye on debris flows as flooding ramps up in parts of California.

Debris flow is often triggered by intense rainstorms like the ones brought on by this atmospheric river.

The heavy rain can send a wall of water, soil, rocks and other debris careening downhill, especially in areas that have already been affected by wildfires.

Read more about debris flow here.

(12:47 p.m. ET) A Triple Threat

Heavy rain isn’t the only impact of this storm. The atmospheric river is delivering a trio of potentially dangerous weather conditions.

From weather.com digital meteorologist Madeline Scheinost:

“There are three things to watch for with this system. Heavy rain, which could trigger mudslides and flooding. Heavy high elevation snow, which could cause hazardous travel across the Sierras. And high winds, which could bring down trees and power lines – especially in areas where the ground is saturated.”

(MORE: Hurricane Force Wind Gusts Reported In California)

(12:11 p.m. ET) Rare High Flood Risk

It’s fairly rare that a high risk flood outlook is issued, and when it is, it should be taken seriously.

From weather.com meteorologist Ari Sarsalari:

“A high flood risk outlook only happens on about 4% of days each year. It’s often a warning about serious impacts. Nearly 40% of all U.S. flood deaths happen on high risk days, in addition to the overwhelming majority of property damage from flooding. If you find yourself in a high risk area, make sure you have a way to get weather alerts and monitor the situation closely because it could save your life.”

(MORE: A Closer Look At The Flood Threat)

(10:45 a.m. ET) High Above An Atmospheric River

U.S. Air Force pilots provided a bird’s eye view of the atmospheric river as it headed for California’s coast. Though calm from this height, the system readied to wallop California with intense winds and rain.

Air Force Hurricane Hunters took this footage while dropping instruments into the storm to collect weather data, just like they do with hurricanes.

A woman stands among the wreckage of a house that was abruptly destroyed by a landslide after an atmospheric river storm inundated the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, Feb. 6, 2024. (David McNew/AFP via Getty Images)A woman stands among the wreckage of a house that was abruptly destroyed by a landslide after an atmospheric river storm inundated the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, Feb. 6, 2024. (David McNew/AFP via Getty Images)

A woman stands among the wreckage of a house that was abruptly destroyed by a landslide after an atmospheric river storm inundated the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, Feb. 6, 2024. (David McNew/AFP via Getty Images)

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