HomeClimateSouthern California Declares State of Emergency as Powerful Storm Hits

Southern California Declares State of Emergency as Powerful Storm Hits

Southern California Declares State of Emergency as Powerful Storm Hits

Sacramento, US (EFE/DT) – California declared a state of emergency for eight counties in the south of the state, including Los Angeles, on Sunday due to a winter storm predicted to bring heavy rains and snow.

Governor Gavin Newsom said disaster management resources and California National Guard personnel would be deployed in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Ventura counties.

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Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for eight counties in Southern California as a series of winter storms has commenced affecting much of the state with strong winds, destructive rain, and heavy snowfall.

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Southern California has declared a state of emergency as a man walks through rainwater. (Photo: EFE)

Earlier today, the Governor visited the State Operations Center near Sacramento for an update on the storm and the state’s response efforts.

The proclamation covers Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The emergency proclamation includes provisions authorizing a California National Guard response if tasked, facilitating unemployment benefits for impacted residents, and making it easier for out-of-state contractors and utilities to repair storm damage.

Governor Gavin Newsom issues advisory for his affected state

5 things you can to do stay safer:

  1. Stay connected. Dial 311 to get help or ask questions. If you have a critical emergency, call 911. Stay informed by signing up for emergency alerts including warnings and evacuation notices at org.
  2. Get your information from trusted sources. Check state and local government or emergency management websites and social media accounts for trusted information specific to your area. Local news outlets and meteorologists are also a good source of information. Be wary of posts from unknown sources on social platforms or from online ‘experts’ without credentials.
  3. Prepare for high winds. Before a high wind event: remove any dead trees or overhanging branches near structures, remove loose roofing material, bring in unsecured objects from patios and balconies, secure outdoor objects that could blow away, shutter windows securely and brace outside doors. During a high wind event: take cover next to a building or under shelter, stay away from windows, stay clear of roadways and train tracks, avoid elevated areas such as roofs, watch for flying debris.
  4. Travel safely. Avoid non-essential travel during the peak of the storm expected Sunday and Monday. If you must drive, download the QuickMap app or visit QuickMap (ca.gov) to learn up-to-the-minute information on road conditions, traffic, closures, and more. Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  5. Be ready in case of power outages. Take inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity. Keep your devices charged. Plan for batteries and other alternative power sources to meet your needs if the power goes out such as a portable charger or power bank. Have flashlights for every household member.

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Fallen trees and power lines block a road in Pebble Beach, Calif., on Sunday. (Ryan Sun / Associated Press)

Additional Resources

  1. Storm Season Safety Guide: the state is sharing multilingual resources, deploying a network of community-based organizations through the Listos California campaign, and highlighting other work underway to protect at-risk communities this rainy season.
  2. Prepare Yourself through Texts: Californians can sign up for a 5-lesson text message course through Listos California on what to do before, during and after floods, high winds, debris flows and other storm impacts. This course is available in English, Spanish, Hmong and Punjabi. Text “CAWINTER” to 20202 via SMS to sign up.
  3. Visit National Weather Service for current weather patterns in your area.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Los Angeles said Sunday that a flood watch is in force for all areas of the metropolitan region.

More than half a million Californians were without power today due to heavy rains and winds, according to PowerOutage.us.

Media reports said 19 people were rescued off the California coast of Long Beach after the mast of a sailboat broke due to strong winds. Only one suffered injuries, and the ship was damaged but did not sink.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass told reporters that the storm hitting the region “is a serious climate event.”

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A wave hits a boat that washed ashore as a powerful storm, the second in less than a week, hits Santa Barbara. The storm is expected to bring flooding, mudslides and power outages while dropping heavy rain and snow. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)

“This has the potential to be a historic storm: high winds, thunderstorms and even brief tornadoes,” said Bass.

Residents of several cities in Ventura County were forced to evacuate due to the danger of flooding.

Thousands remain alert for flash flood warnings, especially in fire-hit and coastal areas from California’s border with Mexico to northern San Francisco Bay.

The NWS warned that the storm could leave records of accumulated rain of more than 15 centimeters.

“Given the large amounts of rainfall expected in the period, 3-6 hour rainfall rates could be problematic, potentially leading to mud and debris flow issues as well as rapid water overflows into local rivers and streams.” said the NWS.

Warnings for strong winds of up to 100 km per hour are also in force for almost 30 million people in inland areas across the state.

The foothills and mountains, which expect record snowfall on Sunday, could have wind gusts of around 150 km per hour.

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