California was still recovering from the damage of multiple storms and flooding in the state when it was hit with a new set of storms on Saturday—causing mudslides, toppling trees and endangering millions.
On Sunday, showers continued at a rate of half-an-inch per hour and officials said the downpour could lead to flooding, though the National Weather Service reported that rainfall totals will still be less than that of Saturday.
At least 19 people have died due to inclement weather conditions in the state since December, and residents in northern California continue to be affected. Millions of residents, including the entire Bay Area, remains under a flood watch, according to CBS News. Flood warnings were previously issued across Mendocino, Napa, Marin, Sonoma, Sacramento, Merced and Fresno counties.
President Joe Biden approved the state’s major disaster declaration request on Saturday, providing federal funding to affected individuals in Merced, Sacramento and Santa Cruz counties, according to a White House press release. The financial aid can be used for temporary housing, home repair grants, loans and more.
The Biden administration last issued an emergency declaration on Jan. 9 for more than a dozen counties in California.
“California is grateful for President Biden’s swift approval of this critical support to communities reeling from these ongoing storms,” said Governor Gavin Newsom on Saturday. “We’ll continue to work in lockstep with local, state and federal partners to help keep Californians safe and make sure our communities have the resources and assistance they need to rebuild and recover.”
The storms were caused by a series of atmospheric river storms that dumped mass quantities of rainfall in the state. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that they can carry water vapor that is the equivalent of the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River.
One to five more inches of rain is expected to fall by Monday morning, according to the The New York Times. These storms are also increasing snowfall in certain regions of California. The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab tweeted on Sunday that they’ve seen 21.5 inches of snow in the last 24 hours alone, and are now “204% of average precipitation to this point in the water year.”
Mayor Karen Bass also declared a local state of emergency for the City of Los Angeles on Jan. 13 as it recovers. The Golden State is expected to experience dry weather starting on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.
Authorities in San Luis Obispo County also tweeted Sunday that the search for a 5-year-old boy that was swept up by floodwater while he and his mother were trying to escape their car on Monday is currently on pause due to unsafe water levels and conditions.
More than 20,000 customers in California are currently without power, according to poweroutage.us, a website that tracks power outages across the United States.
If you were affected by these storms and live in one of the aforementioned counties, you can apply for assistance at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362).
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