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California Faces Unprecedented Weather Crisis from Potent Atmospheric River

Atmospheric River Triggers Severe Weather Warnings in California

An atmospheric river has hit Southern California, bringing with it hurricane-force winds and the potential for severe flooding, as reported by the National Weather Service. This formidable storm system, described as “dangerous” by officials, has triggered urgent warnings for residents to comply with evacuation orders and to avoid unnecessary travel, particularly on freeways, through at least Monday morning.

Historic Wind Warnings and Flooding Concerns

For the first time in recorded history, a Hurricane Force Wind Warning was issued early Sunday for California’s Bay Area, forecasting wind gusts of up to 90 mph. This extreme weather event has heightened risks across the state, with Los Angeles expected to receive up to 15 inches of rain by Wednesday, raising alarms over potential severe flooding and mudslides.

Emergency Responses and Safety Measures Enacted

In response to the escalating threat, over 242,000 customers were left without power by Sunday evening, and significant snowfall was recorded in just 24 hours. State officials, including Sheriff Bill Brown of Santa Barbara County, are emphasizing the severity of the storm, noting it could be one of the most significant in the county’s history. Authorities are taking extensive measures to mitigate the impact, including the distribution of over seven million sandbags to protect properties from expected water surges.