A new weather system packing rain, snow and strong winds moved into storm-lashed California on Saturday
Flood waters inundate a home by the Salinas River near Chualar, California Saturday. Pic/AFP
U.S. President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for California on Saturday, as storms have pounded the Golden State since Dec. 26, killing at least 19 people and bringing floods, power outages, mudslides, evacuations and road closures.
Biden ordered federal aid to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides, the White House said. The president’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Merced, Sacramento and Santa Cruz counties, it said.
A new weather system packing rain, snow and strong winds moved into storm-lashed California on Saturday, the latest in a parade of atmospheric rivers that have wreaked havoc across the state in recent weeks. While next week should bring some respite, the first of two systems expected to hit California over the U.S. holiday weekend pushed onshore on Saturday, unleashing more heavy rain, the National Weather Service said.
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Atmospheric rivers rarely seen in such frequent succession have pounded the Golden State since Dec. 26, killing at least 19 people and bringing floods, power outages, mudslides, evacuations and road closures. More than 24,000 utility customers were without power as of Saturday afternoon, according to PowerOutage.us. The storms have dropped half the average annual rainfall on the agricultural Central Valley and as much as 15 feet (4.5 m) of snow in the mountains.
Flood advisories were in effect across the state on Saturday, and thousands of residents were under evacuation orders and warnings. At least seven waterways were officially flooded, the California Department of Water Resources said on Friday. “These weather events have taken more lives in the last two years than wildfires,” California Governor Gavin Newsom told a news conference on Saturday. “That’s how deadly they are.”
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