Californians brace for more extreme weather after a week of deadly storms
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California is bracing for yet another series of powerful storm systems. People have been hit with relentless rain, flooding and mudslides, as heavy winds batter parts of the state.
The deluge comes after enduring a week of bad weather leading to at least 14 deaths and power outages that have left many Californians in the dark. President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration Monday to support the response and relief operations in over a dozen counties in the state, where at least 8 inches of rain fell over a 12-hour period, according to the National Weather Service.
Yesterday, officials issued evacuation orders in coastal communities including Montecito in the south and parts of Santa Cruz County further north. About 20 miles northeast of Santa Cruz, Dave Chisler is one of many residents tracking the succession of storms here over the last week.
“When the wind rages… you’re just worried,” Chisler said. “I’m not so worried about myself per se, but I’m worried about friends and family up here.”
A major concern, he says, are trees left damaged or dead by the ongoing drought here.
“The drought has really hit them and now we’ve had all this rain so that a lot of trees are falling down,” he said.
Meanwhile, the weather prompted some schools to close yesterday. And tens of thousands of people remain without power.
In northern and central California, Pacific Gas & Electric Company has brought in crews from out of state to help residents get their power back, but the company’s chief operating officer Adam Wright urged patience.
“As we go out to restore power, we are encountering challenges that could delay our efforts and extend customer outages,” Wright said.
Those challenges include heavy snow and even avalanche risk in higher elevations. Wright says repair crews are prioritizing those who’ve been without power the longest.
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