California storms – live: Flash flood warning in San Francisco after Montecito and Santa Barbara evacuations

California storms – live: Flash flood warning in San Francisco after Montecito and Santa Barbara evacuations

At least 14 people have been killed and a five-year-old boy remains missing as a series of extreme storms continue to batter California.

More lives have now been lost in the storms – which began hammering the state last week – than were caused by two years of wildfires.

In the last two days, more than a foot of rain has fallen in parts of the state bringing dangerous flash floods and leaving more than 200,000 homes without power as of Tuesday morning.

Some 22 million people across California and parts of Oregon are under flood advisory, as the atmospheric river looks set to keep dumping heavy precipitation across the region.

The extreme weather saw the star-studded city of Montecito placed under an evacuation order and on Tuesday the whole of San Francisco was warned of flash flooding.

As conditions eased slightly, the search resumed on Tuesday for a boy, 5, who was swept away when his mother’s truck got stuck in a creek near Paso Robles.

More severe weather is forecast throughout the week, raising the potential for flooding, rising rivers, and mudslides on already saturated soils.

Key Points

  • Biden declares emergency in California

  • Damage from California storms will cause ‘several billions’ of dollars

  • Data: Most of California’s reservoirs still not at historic levels despite massive rains

  • ‘This is crazy’: Ellen DeGeneres shares footage of raging torrent

  • Search called off for boy, 5, swept away by California floodwaters

Dramatic images of the California storms

12:00 , Rachel Sharp

With 90 per cent of the state under flood watch, here are some of the most striking photos and videos of the carnage in the Golden State.

Sinkholes, fallen trees, floods: Dramatic images capture California storm devastation

Inches of water pooled in LA streets on Monday

11:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Streets flooded in several parts of Los Angeles on Monday night, with water threatening a homeless encampment at one intersection in Hollywood.

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Where are California’s extreme storms headed?

10:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The next severe front will impact northern California and the Pacific Northwest from Wednesday.

It comes after days of heavy rain which left land waterlogged, adding to the risk of mudslides, particularly in the burn scars of wildfires where land is already destabilized. The heavy rain has also led to rapid water rises in rivers and streams across California and portions of far western Nevada.

Louise Boyle reports.

California weather tracker: Where are extreme storms headed?

What is an atmospheric river?

09:15 , Stuti Mishra

The system swamping California is known as an “atmospheric river” - or a “river in the sky” - a band of water vapor that forms over the ocean and can be hundreds of miles wide.

Louise Boyle explains how the phenomenon operates and what it means for California.

What is an atmospheric river?

Storm 'more intense' and stayed 'much longer', says fire department as more evacuations are ordered

08:15 , Stuti Mishra

More evacuations have been ordered in counties as the storm warning remains in Northern California after torrential downpours.

The Stanislaus County officials have ordered immediate evacuations for some residents in the Newman area of the San Joaquin River and east River Road amid warnings of further rains and high winds.

The California fire department has said the storm on Tuesday was different because 'it stayed much longer'.

"This storm was different from the standpoint that it was here much longer. It was more intense because of the prior storm, the ground was much more saturated, which led to a lot more flooding and a lot more rescues because of the ground saturation," said Barry Parker, division chief of the Ventura County Fire Department.

The latest Pacific storm unleashed torrential downpours and damaging winds in California, knocking out power and turning city streets into rivers as mudslides cut off highways and entire communities faced evacuation orders.

More than 33 million Californians were threatened by severe weather throughout the day as "heavy to excessive" rainfall was expected across the state.

The storms have killed at least 17 people since the start of the year, California Governor Gavin Newsom said.

Senior found dead in boat in Morro Bay

07:15 , Josh Marcus

A 78-year-old man was found dead inside a boat in Morro Bay on Tuesday, the Morro Bay Police Department told the San Luis Obispo, California, Tribune newspaper on Tuesday.

Officials encountered the man’s remains in a stored boat on Tuesday morning, and haven’t determine the cause of death.

Morro Bay was pounded by the atmospheric river that has brought storms across California, killing a woman in nearby Avila Beach on Monday when her car was overtaken by flood waters.

The worst climate disasters of 2022

06:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Wildfires tearing through the London suburbs. One-third of Pakistan underwater. Drought-linked famine looming for tens of millions of people in East Africa. Billions of dollars in damage from a “500-year” hurricane that smacked into Florida.

The year 2022 brought disaster after disaster across the planet with scientists increasingly able to point to the climate crisis as the root cause.

Here, The Independent looks back at some of the most erratic and devastating events being driven by humanity’s continued reliance on burning fossil fuels:

Cities ablaze and countries submerged: The worst climate disasters of 2022

Damage centred on Santa Barbara

05:15 , Josh Marcus

With the soil already saturated, much of the damage has been concentrated around the city of Santa Barbara, about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Los Angeles, where the steep foothills slope toward the Pacific Ocean.

Several remote spots have reported more than a foot (30 cm) of rain including the San Marcos Pass in the Santa Ynez Mountains above Santa Barbara, where more than 17 inches (43 cm) have fallen, according to the NWS.

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In the Rancho Oso area of the Santa Ynez Mountains, mud and debris across the roadway isolated about 400 people and 70 horses, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department said on Twitter, posting a photo of a vehicle stuck in the mud. Rescue teams were on the way, spokesperson Scott Safechuck said.

Near the coast, the California Highway Patrol closed U.S. 101, the main highway connecting northern and southern California, with no estimated time on reopening.

Reuters

04:15 , Oliver O'Connell

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On Monday, officials ordered the evacuation of some 25,000 people, including the entire affluent enclave of Montecito near Santa Barbara, due to heightened flood and mudslide risks. The 4,000 people of Planada, a community in Central California, started their Tuesday morning with an order to evacuate their homes by the county sheriff’s office.

Harry and Meghan’s hometown of Montecito evacuated

The Montecito evacuation zone was among 17 California regions where authorities worry the ongoing torrential downpours could unleash lethal cascades of mud, boulders and other debris in the hillsides.

To the southeast in Ventura County, crews worked overnight to rescue drivers stuck in a three feet of mud flow along State Highway 126, the California Highway Patrol said.

Reuters

San Francisco man goes viral for spraying unhoused person with house during storm

03:00 , Josh Marcus

San Francisco may be facing strong rains, but that didn’t stop one business owner in the city’s Financial District from spraying an unhoused perrson with a hose on Monday.

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In a clip that later went viral locally, the man can be seen saying, “Move,” as he blasts the individual, who sits on the sidewalk wrapped in blankets.

As the San Francisco Standard reports, the city is short thousands of shelter beds needed to house those on its streets as strong rains pelt the Bay Area.

Will epic California storms be enough to end state’s drought?

02:00 , Josh Marcus

An “atmospheric river” is drenching California with storms, bringing exceptionally high levels of precipitation across the golden state.

Thanks to a series of storms beginning in late December, areas of California have received 400 to 600 per cent of their normal rain levels, according to the National Weather Service. By early January, state scientists at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada mountains were recording snows that were 177 per cent higher than average.

The intense weather has often proved catastrophic on the ground, causing flooding, downed trees, and mudslides that have killed at least 16 people and left roughly 224,000 people in the state without power, the Washington Post reports.

Despite all the destruction it has caused, will the atmospheric river end California’s historic drought, the worst in state history? Not quite, according to scientists.

Read our full report to understand why.

Will epic California storms be enough to end state’s drought?

Watch: CHP capture huge landslide in Fresno Counthy

01:45 , Oliver O'Connell

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Over 22 million in California face flood advisory

01:30 , Josh Marcus

With heavy rains come strong floods.

Some 22 million people across California and parts of Oregon are under flood advisory, as the atmospheric river looks set to keep dumping heavy precipitation across the region.

“We’ve seen tons of reports of mudslides, rocks and boulders coming down on the roads,” Mike Doll, a senior meteorologist at Accuweather, told TIME on Tuesday.

Frequency and intensity of storms symptom of climate change

01:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Experts say the growing frequency and intensity of such storms, interspersed with extreme heat and dry spells, are symptoms of climate change. Though the rain and snow will help replenish reservoirs and aquifers, a mere two weeks of precipitation will not solve two decades of drought. Meanwhile, terrain denuded by past wildfires has created an increased risk of flash floods and mudslides.

The torrential rains, along with heavy snow in mountain areas, follow yet another "atmospheric river" of dense moisture funneled into California from the tropical Pacific, powered by sprawling low-pressure systems churning offshore.

Reuters

Small California town hasn’t had full power in nearly a week

01:00 , Josh Marcus

Gualala, a scenic coastal town north of the San Francisco Bay Area, hasn’t had full power for nearly a week, as intense storms battered the region and downed numerous trees and power poles.

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As of Tuesday afternoon, about half of the town’s 2,000 people were still without electricity, though utility provider PG&E said power would be restored by 10pm local time this evening, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports.

Damage from California storms will cause ‘several billions’ of dollars

00:45 , Josh Marcus

Recent storms have brought extreme weather to nearly every part of California, including rain, snow, hail, thunder, and storm surges, resulting in floods, downed power lines, and landslides.

All that damage could add up.

“It’s likely that this is going to be at least several billion dollars,” Jonathan Porter, chief meteorologist at AccuWeather, told the New York Times on Tuesday. “It will unfortunately join the club of billion-dollar disasters.”

Here’s our report from Louise Boyle on the worst climate disasters of 2022. Read on to see where the latest storms in California stack up.

Cities ablaze and countries submerged: The worst climate disasters of 2022

Video: California storms ‘dumping’ snow into Sierra Nevada mountains

00:30 , Josh Marcus

The atmospheric river dumping water across California has reached into the high mountain peaks of the Sierra Nevadas.

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The University of California Central Sierra Snow Lab reported on Tuesday it had seen over 9 feet of snow in the last 24 hours, 172 per cent of average precipitation.

The snow was piled so high it reached the station’s second-floor windows, the lab posted on Twitter.

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Watch: Montecito inundated by floodwater

00:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Data: Most of California’s reservoirs still not at historic levels despite massive rains

00:00 , Josh Marcus

If you want a picture of just how severe California’s drought problem is, look at the reservoirs.

Despire intense rain and snow across the state, 12 of the state’s 17 major reservoirs remain below historical averages, according to the California Department of Water Resources data.

Recap: Tuesday’s rains add to woes for California

Tuesday 10 January 2023 23:45 , Oliver O'Connell

The latest Pacific storm unleashed torrential downpours and damaging winds in California on Tuesday, knocking out power and turning city streets into rivers as mudslides cut off highways and entire communities faced evacuation orders.

More than 33 million Californians were threatened by severe weather throughout the day as “heavy to excessive” rainfall was expected across the state, especially in southern California, as winds gusts were clocked at more than 40 miles (64 km) an hour in many places, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

The high winds wreaked havoc on the power grid, knocking out electricity to 180,000 homes and businesses as of midday Tuesday, according to data from Poweroutage.us.

Reuters

Waters beginning to recede after flooding temporarily shuts down Highway 101 near Gilroy

Tuesday 10 January 2023 23:38 , Josh Marcus

Gilroy, California, a low-lying farm community known for its garlic festival, was an unlikely home to national notoriety on Monday when intense storm conditions in the Golden State flooded roads and fields across the small town, temporarily shutting down US Highway 101.

Highway 101 is closed due to flooding in Gilroy, California, on January 09, 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)
Highway 101 is closed due to flooding in Gilroy, California, on January 09, 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

The north-south corridor is one of the major connectors in the state.

Thankfully, waters are beginning to recede, CBS Bay Area reports, and all four lanes of 101 are back open, according to the California transit agency Caltrans.

Almost entire state of California under weather advisory

Tuesday 10 January 2023 23:15 , Oliver O'Connell

Almost the entire state of California is under a weather advisory or warning.

According to the National Weather Service, 22.76 million people are under a flood watch, and a further 11.7 million are under a flood warning — a total of more than 34 million people, or 10 per cent of the total population of the US.

 (National Weather Service)
(National Weather Service)

More rainfall and damage expected from two further bouts of stormy weather

Tuesday 10 January 2023 22:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Even more rain is in the forecast for California as additional storms from the Pacific are expected to reach the western United States in the coming days, AccuWeather meteorologists say, adding to the disastrous start to the year which has seen multiple storms hit the state since New Year’s Eve.

The most recent storm dumped nearly 10 inches of rain on southern parts of the state and around two feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Another pair of storms are forecast to hit the west coast in the coming week, with the first set to hit the Pacific Northwest first, bringing rain and snow to Washington and Oregon in addition to northern California.

"While the wave of moisture aims for Oregon, parts of Central and Southern California will get a break from the heavy rainfall," explained AccuWeather Meteorologist Joseph Bauer.

The rain will start to move onto the coast Wednesday and persist through Friday, with up to three inches forecast in a stretch from British Columbia south to central California — a few areas could receive more than six inches of additional rainfall.

While a reprieve is expected for San Francisco and Sacramento on Thursday, the second storm will move into the West Coast in time for the weekend and may pack more of a punch for the remainder of California.

"More precipitation is expected to spread across the majority of California again on Saturday," Mr Bauer said about the second storm, which is expected to bring more flooding and high winds, likely adding to the damage already seen.

“Tree damage and power outages could be more extensive with how wet the ground is already,” said Mr Bauer.

California storms devastation captured in dramatic images

Tuesday 10 January 2023 22:15 , Oliver O'Connell

The storms that have been pounding California since New Year’s show no sign of letting up.

“Just as the last episode of heavy precipitation across California is beginning to wind down early this morning, another energetic low pressure system is quickly gathering strength off the West Coast and heading once again toward California,” the National Weather Service announced on Tuesday. “In addition to being highly moisture-laden, this rapidly intensifying system is also packing some thunderstorms.”

Here are some of the most dramatic images captured so far this week.

Sinkholes, fallen trees, floods: Dramatic images capture California storm devastation

Flash flood warning issued for San Francisco

Tuesday 10 January 2023 22:06 , Oliver O'Connell

The whole city of San Francisco has been placed under a flash flood warning until 3.30pm PT.

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How much rain has fallen?

Tuesday 10 January 2023 21:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Nearly all of California has seen much above average rainfall totals over the past several weeks, according to the National Weather Service, with totals 400-600 per cent above average values. This has resulted in nearly saturated soils and increasingly high river levels. Today’s heavy rain will further exacerbate ongoing flooding while prolonging the risk of flash flooding and mudslides, especially across recent burn scar regions.

In another indication of how much rain has fallen to date — and how quickly — Santa Barbara County's Cachuma Reservoir rose almost five feet in 24 hours, according to National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist Eric Boldt.

What is an atmospheric river?

Tuesday 10 January 2023 21:25 , Oliver O'Connell

The system swamping California is known as an “atmospheric river” - or a “river in the sky” - a band of water vapor that forms over the ocean and can be hundreds of miles wide.

Senior climate correspondent Louise Boyle explains.

What is an atmospheric river?

Caution: Big rock!

Tuesday 10 January 2023 21:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Malibu Public Safety has warned drivers to beware of potentially dangerous obstructions on roads caused by landslides and rockfalls triggered by the excessive rainfall.

The agency posted photos of a large boulder that had crashed down onto Malibu Canyon Road blocking most of the roadway.

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California snowpack at more than double normal levels

Tuesday 10 January 2023 20:45 , Oliver O'Connell

A further impact of the relentless atmospheric river storms is that California’s snowpack is building up at a record-setting pace and is already ahead of the all-time record snow season of 1982-83.

Statewide the snowpack across the Sierra Nevada Mountains passed 200 per cent of the normal levels, reaching 215 per cent of the usual amount for this date — a jump of 16 per cent in just one day, Climate Nexus reports.

The Sierra Nevada snowpack works as seasonal water storage for the state, providing approximately one-third of California’s water supply. The state’s dams are managed to capture floodwaters in the rainy season while allowing for space to catch snowmelt in the spring.

Warmer temperatures mean there is a trend toward earlier snowmelt and coupled with the excessive rain, there is a fear that the dual-purpose mission of the region’s dams to control flooding and store water may be upset.

Inches of water pooled in LA streets on Monday

Tuesday 10 January 2023 20:25 , Oliver O'Connell

Streets flooded in several parts of Los Angeles on Monday night, with water threatening a homeless encampment at one intersection in Hollywood.

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Another storm wave approaching San Francisco

Tuesday 10 January 2023 20:14 , Oliver O'Connell

Drew Tuma, meteorologist for ABC7 San Francisco, warns residents of the California city to buckle up for the next round of rain and wind.

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The LA sinkhole

Tuesday 10 January 2023 20:05 , Oliver O'Connell

Two cars, with two people in each, were swallowed by a sinkhole in Chatsworth, Los Angeles on Monday evening, prompting a dramatic rescue by firefighters (REUTERS)
Two cars, with two people in each, were swallowed by a sinkhole in Chatsworth, Los Angeles on Monday evening, prompting a dramatic rescue by firefighters (REUTERS)

Search for missing boy resumes

Tuesday 10 January 2023 19:45 , Oliver O'Connell

Officials in San Luis Obispo County have resumed their search for the five-year-old boy swept away during Monday’s storm.

The little boy, named Kyle Doan, was suspended on Monday due to unsafe weather conditions and water depths.

“A break in the intense storms is allowing today's search which will involve all available resources of the Sheriff's Office including the USAR (Underwater Search and Rescue) Team and air operations. The conditions, however, remain extremely dangerous. The water level is high and continues to be fast-moving,” the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said.

Watch: California storm hits San Francisco

Tuesday 10 January 2023 19:20 , Oliver O'Connell

Earlier: Montecito evacuation

Tuesday 10 January 2023 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The entire community of Montecito and surrounding canyons scarred by recent wildfires were under an evacuation order that came on the fifth anniversary of a mudslide that killed 23 people and destroyed more than 100 homes in the coastal enclave.

The National Weather Service reported rainfall rates of one inch (2.5 centimetres) per hour, with heavy downpours expected throughout the night in the upscale area where roads wind along wooded hillsides studded with large houses. Montecito is squeezed between mountains and the Pacific and is home to celebrities including Rob Lowe and Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Ellen DeGeneres shared an Instagram video of herself standing in front of a raging creek near the Montecito home where she lives with her wife, actor Portia de Rossi. She said in the post that they were told to shelter in place because they are on high ground.

“This is crazy!” the talk show host, wearing a hoodie and raincoat, says in the video. “This creek next to our house never flows, ever. It’s probably about nine feet up and is going to go another two feet up.”

Jamie McLeod’s property was under the Montecito evacuation order, but she said there is no way for her to “get off the mountain” with a rushing creek on one side and a mudslide on the other. The 60-year-old owner of the Santa Barbara Bird Sanctuary said one of her employees came to make a weekly food delivery and is stuck, too.

Ms McLeod said she feels fortunate because her home sits on high ground and the power is still on. But she said she tires of the frequent evacuation orders since the massive wildfire followed by the deadly landslide five years ago.

“It is not easy to relocate,” said Ms McLeod. “I totally love it — except in catastrophe.”

AP

Watch: California resident paddleboards through flooded street

Tuesday 10 January 2023 18:40 , Oliver O'Connell

California resident paddleboards through flooded street amid devastating storms

Dramatic rescue as cars plummet into sinkhole in Los Angeles

Tuesday 10 January 2023 18:20 , Oliver O'Connell

There was a dramatic rescue by firefighters after two cars fell into a massive sinkhole that opened up in one Los Angeles neighbourhood on Monday night as the seeminly relentless storm continued.

A pickup truck drove into the large sinkhole on a street in Chatsworth and landed on top of another vehicle that had already fallen in. The incident was reported at around 7.15pm and a rescue operation involving some 50 Los Angeles firefighters was launched.

Each vehicle had two occupants when they fell into the 15-foot-deep sinkhole, KABC reports. The two people in the pickup truck were able able to escape unaided.

An initial attempt to rescue the teenage girl and woman in the lower vehicle “involved bringing ground ladders and laying them down to span the hole so crews could try to reach the victims but this was not successful,” the Los Angeles Fire Department said in a statement.

“Meanwhile, the road continued to slough and although firefighters had tried to stabilise the vehicle, it was shifting and starting to roll within the sinkhole,” the statement said. “With the entire road compromised, firefighters had to make an immediate rescue to save the lives of the two people trapped.”

Eventually, an aerial ladder was deployed to position rescuers over the hole, and a rope operation lowered a firefighter down to secure each victim and hoist them to safety. The girl and woman had minor injuries and were taken to hospital for evaluation.

Where are California’s extreme storms headed?

Tuesday 10 January 2023 18:00 , Oliver O'Connell

The barrage of severe conditions will persist on Tuesday across central and southern California as the system slowly shifts south.

The heaviest rain was concentrated southeast of the state capital of Sacramento in the northern area of the San Joaquin Valley. Heavy snowfall was impacting higher elevations of the central and southern Sierra Nevada mountain range.

High wind warnings have been forecast for coastal and southern California, and flood watches for much of the state’s coastline into the Sacramento valley.

Louise Boyle reports on the latest developments.

California weather tracker: Where are extreme storms headed?

Search for missing boy called off due to dangerous water levels

Tuesday 10 January 2023 17:30 , Oliver O'Connell

A roughly seven-hour search for the missing five-year-old boy turned up only his shoe before officials called it off as water levels were too dangerous for divers, officials said. The boy has not been declared dead, said spokesperson Tony Cipolla of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

The boy’s mother was driving a truck when it became stranded in floodwaters just before 8am near Paso Robles, a small city inland from California’s central coast, according to Tom Swanson, assistant chief of the Cal Fire/San Luis Obispo County Fire Department.

Bystanders were able to pull the mother out of the truck, but the boy was swept out of the vehicle and downstream, likely into a river, Mr Swanson said. There was no evacuation order in the area at the time.

AP

Montecito creek becomes raging torrent after California storm

Tuesday 10 January 2023 17:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Deluge bursts banks of Montecito creek after California storm

Golden Globes red carpet to be covered due to rain

Tuesday 10 January 2023 16:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The severe weather lashing much of California is not stopping the Hollywood Foreign Press Association from celebrating the 2023 Golden Globes.

Speaking to Variety, executive producer and showrunner Dionne Harmon said that the weather “dealt us a hand” but the show would go on.

Per the outlet:

Speaking via Zoom from the Beverly Hilton, Harmon continued, “We had plans to do these beautiful arches, and it was a refresh of the carpet that you hadn’t seen before.” After monitoring the weather and with rain on the forecast, Harmon said the decision was made to put a tent over the carpet. “That meant we wouldn’t be able to do the arches,” but she plans to use them next year.

Harmon added the carpet will not be red: “The carpet is a beautiful gray color that goes with the new palette for the year, which is blush tones and coral.” She went on to say, “You’ll be enclosed in a big tent, so no one should be worried. They will get out of their car to a dry, warm place.”

Watch: Hail falling in San Francisco this morning

Tuesday 10 January 2023 16:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Drew Tuma, meteorologist for ABC7 in San Francisco, warned residents of a strong storm moving through the city this morning which brought hail and strong winds to the area. A Twitter follower sent him footage of the hail hitting part of town shortly after 6am local time.

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What is an atmospheric river?

Tuesday 10 January 2023 15:30 , Rachel Sharp

California is facing more extreme weather this week after days of heavy rain, snow and powerful winds have caused treacherous conditions across the state.

At least 14 people have been killed and a five-year-old boy remains missing as severe storms continue to batter California.

The system swamping California is known as an “atmospheric river” - or a “river in the sky” - a band of water vapor that forms over the ocean and can be hundreds of miles wide.

These weather phenomenon occur globally, but are common on the US West Coast where they drag moisture onshore from the Pacific creating up to half of annual rainfall.

Powerful atmospheric rivers can carry water vapor equivalent to the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Read more here:

What is an atmospheric river?

Motorist killed after driving into flooded roadway

Tuesday 10 January 2023 15:00 , Rachel Sharp

A driver was killed in a weather-related death in San Luis Obispo County on Monday, according to authorities.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said that the motorist, whose identity has not been released, died after driving into a flooded roadway in Avila Beach.

This comes as a five-year-old boy is still missing after being swept away in the waters near the Salinas River.

The search was suspended on Monday afternoon because the conditions were too dangerous for search teams.

Death toll from storm rises to 14 in California

Tuesday 10 January 2023 14:30 , Rachel Sharp

At least 14 people have been killed and a five-year-old boy remains missing as heavy flooding continues to batter California.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the latest death toll on Monday, after two people were killed by falling trees.

He revealed that more lives have now been lost in the storm – which began hammering the state last week – than were caused by all the wildfires to have tore through the state over the past two years.

WATCH: Moment landslide blocks flooded road

Tuesday 10 January 2023 14:00 , Rachel Sharp

A landslide tumbled down a rock face in Fresno County, California, across a flooded road on Monday, after the region was slammed by storms.

Video posted by California Highway Patrol’s Fresno office shows water flowing across state route 168, which was closed between Lodge Road and Cressman Road.

On Monday, Fresno County officials declared a state of emergency due to the “atmospheric river weather system.”

Watch footage of the landslide here:

Moment landslide blocks flooded road amid California storm

Tornado warning cancelled for parts of California

Tuesday 10 January 2023 13:30 , Rachel Sharp

The National Weather Service in Sacramento issued two tornado warnings for parts of Central California early on Tuesday morning.

The first warning was in place until 4 am PST in the areas of Rancho Calaveras, Valley Springs and San Andreas, while the second was in place until 4.15am PST covering Modesto, Ceres and Riverbank.

At around 4.45am, the NWS tweeted that the “severe weather threat has ended” across parts of the state.

“The severe weather threat has ended early this morning across the southern Sacramento Valley, the northern San Joaquin Valley and Motherlode. The threat for roadway flooding and rises on area creeks and streams continues,” the agency wrote.

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Forecasters warn more extreme weather is on the way

Tuesday 10 January 2023 13:00 , Rachel Sharp

The National Weather Service has warned that more extreme weather is on the way to California.

“Yet another surge of moisture will inundate #California on #Tuesday for more heavy rain and flooding,” the NWS tweeted late on Monday.

“A moderate threat (level 3 out of 4) for excessive rain and #flooding covers a large chunk of southern California, including the Los Angeles metro area. #TurnAroundDontDrown.”

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Ellen DeGeneres shares footage of raging torrent

Tuesday 10 January 2023 12:30 , Rachel Sharp

Ellen DeGeneres shared an alarming video from her Montecito home yesterday as intense flooding hit the celebrity-filled area.

Residents of the city, which is home to stars including Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, were placed under an evacuation order as more heavy weather was due through yesterday evening.

Sharing a selfie video on Instagram, DeGeneres showed followers a creek next to her house, which normally “never flows, ever” but in the clip was a raging brown torrent of water. “It’s probably about nine feet [high],” the TV host remarked.

Tom Murray has more.

Ellen DeGeneres shares footage of raging torrent as storm hits star-studded Montecito

No way to ‘get off the mountain’, says bird sanctuary owner

Tuesday 10 January 2023 12:00 , Rachel Sharp

Santa Barbara Bird Sanctuary owner Jamie McLeod’s property was under the Montecito evacuation order, but she said there is no way for her to “get off the mountain” with a rushing creek on one side and a mudslide on the other.

The 60-year-old said one of her employees came to make a weekly food delivery and is stuck, as well.

Ms McLeod said she feels fortunate because her home sits on high ground and the power is still on. But she said she tires of the frequent evacuation orders since the massive wildfire followed by the deadly landslide five years ago.

“It is not easy to relocate,” she was quoted by AP as saying.

“I totally love it — except in catastrophe.”

Thunderstorm forecasted for Bay Area

Tuesday 10 January 2023 11:20 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The San Francisco Bay Area is expected to receive another round of storm activity today with thunderstorms, as a potent atmospheric river continues to bear down on California.

The National Weather Service’s storm prediction centre has a “marginal risk” for thunderstorms across the greater San Francisco Bay Area today.

“If you’re in an area that gets a heavy thunderstorm, there’s potential for it to exacerbate any flooding that’s going on in your area,” Brooke Bingaman, a forecaster with the weather service, told SFGATE.

“Even though it’s a 5 to 15 per cent chance, we still need people to be on their toes. They need to listen to local officials for evacuation orders.”

Video: Montecito residents struggle to cross street amid flooding situation

Tuesday 10 January 2023 10:20 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The entire community of Montecito and surrounding canyons scarred by recent wildfires were under an evacuation order that came on the fifth anniversary of a mudslide that killed 23 people and destroyed more than 100 homes.

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Harry and Meghan’s hometown of Montecito evacuated

Tuesday 10 January 2023 09:20 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s hometown of Montecito is under an evacuation order due to heavy rain after days of severe storms battered California.

The Montecito Fire Department urged residents to immediately leave their homes yesterday after heavy rain deluged the area from the early hours, with worse to come this afternoon and evening. The fire department later tweeted that their website had crashed due to heavy traffic.

Louise Boyle has more.

Harry and Meghan’s hometown of Montecito evacuated

Search called off for boy swept away by California floodwaters

Tuesday 10 January 2023 08:40 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The search has been called off for a five-year-old boy who was swept away by floodwaters in California after his mother’s truck got stuck in a swollen creek.

Authorities say that Cal Fire responded to a 911 call to help a vehicle that had become stuck in the San Marcos Creek creekbed near Paso Robles, California.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office says that the search was called off because the intense weather conditions became too unsafe for first responders, according to KSBY.

Graeme Massie reports.

Search called off for boy, 5, swept away by California floodwaters

Thousands still without power in California

Tuesday 10 January 2023 08:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

More than 70,000 homes, businesses and other power customers in California still don’t have electricity, according to PowerOutage.us.

Earlier yesterday, over 120,000 homes and businesses were left struggling in the winter without power still without power after a massive storm last week that disrupted road travel with flash floods.

Ellen DeGeneres urges Montecito residents to be safe

Tuesday 10 January 2023 07:20 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Ellen DeGeneres has urged residents of Montecito, in California, to “stay safe” as the area continues to experience “unprecedented” weather conditions.

The US talk show host and comedian posted a video of herself from near her home beside a rushing river.

Speaking in a video on her social media accounts, DeGeneres said: “This is crazy”.

“We are having unprecedented rain. This creek near to our house never flows ever (and it’s) probably about nine feet up. It could go another two feet up. We have horses ready to evacuate.”

Read more here.

Ellen DeGeneres shares footage of raging torrent as storm hits star-studded Montecito

90% of Californians are under flood watch

Tuesday 10 January 2023 06:40 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

More than 34 million Californians were under a flood watch yesterday – about 90 per cent of the state’s population as weather forecasters warned of the risk of flooding and debris flow.

“Thunderstorms are possible Tuesday with best chances between 4 am and 8 pm. Lightning, heavy rain, gusty winds, small hail, and funnel clouds are possible. When thunder roars, head indoors,” the National Weather Service said.

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Meanwhile, the governor’s office in a tweet asked Californians to “pay attention to local alerts, don’t cross flood waters, and avoid downed power lines”.

Death toll climbs to 14

Tuesday 10 January 2023 06:00 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The death toll from the relentless string of storms climbed to 14 yesterday, after two people were killed by falling trees, state officials said.

Tens of thousands of people remained without power and some schools closed for the day as streets and highways transformed into gushing rivers, trees toppled and motorists growled through roadblocks caused by fallen debris.

The entire community of Montecito and surrounding canyons scarred by recent wildfires were under an evacuation order that came on the fifth anniversary of a mudslide that killed 23 people and destroyed more than 100 homes.

Heavy rainfall forecasted for today

Tuesday 10 January 2023 05:20 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Heavy rainfall is forecasted throughout California today and northern parts of the state tomorrow, increasing the potential for flooding given saturated soils from the previous two weeks of precipitation.

According to the National Weather Service, rainfall levels are 400-600 per cent above average across California.

The weather service has warned of a “relentless parade of cyclones” over the coming days that will exacerbate the risk of flooding.

Governor asks Californians to be ‘hyper-vigilant’

Tuesday 10 January 2023 04:40 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Governor Gavin Newsom has urged Californians to be “hyper-vigilant” and keep their guard up as strong winds and heavy rains continue to threaten communities across the state.

He said: “There are still several days of severe winter weather ahead and we need all Californians to be alert and heed the advice of emergency officials.

“Thanks to the President signing off on our request for emergency declaration, we are mobilising all available resources at every level of government to protect lives and limit storm damage.”

Biden declares emergency in California

Tuesday 10 January 2023 04:17 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

President Joe Biden yesterday issued an emergency declaration to support storm response and relief efforts in more than a dozen counties.

The president approved the emergency declaration during a visit in Mexico City for the North American Leaders’ Summit.

California governor Gavin Newsom said he’s in close contact with the White House to ensure the state has adequate aid.

California soaked by yet another winter storm

Tuesday 10 January 2023 04:00 , Graeme Massie

A cleaning crew walks through floodwaters in the Rio Del Mar neighborhood of Aptos, Calif., Monday, Jan. 9, 2023 (AP)
A cleaning crew walks through floodwaters in the Rio Del Mar neighborhood of Aptos, Calif., Monday, Jan. 9, 2023 (AP)

Winter storms boost California snowpack to 200%

Tuesday 10 January 2023 03:29 , Graeme Massie

California’s snow water equivalent is 199% of normal for 9 January, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

The Southern Sierra is 222 per cent of normal, the Central Sierra is 201 per cent, while the Northern Sierra/Trinity is 173 per cent.

“We are seeing the best start to our snowpack in over a decade,” DWR tweeted. “But it is only a start – most of the winter season has yet to unfold.”

CHP posts video of massive rock slide

Tuesday 10 January 2023 02:45 , Graeme Massie

Authorities in California shared a video of a massive rock slide caused by winter storms.

Los Angeles officials warn of worsening conditions

Tuesday 10 January 2023 02:05 , Graeme Massie

“Rain and wind expected to intensify through evening, we advise all road users to practice caution,” tweeted LA Department of Transportation on Monday evening.

California driver dies after driving past road closure signs into flood water

Tuesday 10 January 2023 01:37 , Graeme Massie

California Highway Patrol officers say a female motorist died after driving past road closure signs in San Luis Obispo County.

Officials say that the woman drove onto the flooded Avila Beach Drive into flood water and drowned, according to The San Luis Obispo Tribune.

Eighteen people rescued from island in Ventura River

Tuesday 10 January 2023 01:00 , Graeme Massie

The Ventura County Fire Department says that it rescued 18 people living on an island in the Ventura River on Monday.

“In total 18 victims were rescued, 1 person required medical attention for their minor injuries. 7 people were rescued using a ladder, 7 by air and 4 walked out,” the department tweeted.

‘This is crazy’: Ellen DeGeneres shares footage of raging torrent as storm hits star-studded Montecito

Tuesday 10 January 2023 00:32 , Graeme Massie

‘We need to be nicer to mother nature,’ TV host warns.

Tom Murray has the story.

Ellen DeGeneres shares footage of raging torrent as storm hits star-studded Montecito

Ellen DeGeneres sheltering in place in Montecito posts video of storm flooding

Monday 9 January 2023 23:56 , Graeme Massie

“Montecito is under mandatory evacuation. We are on higher ground so they asked us to shelter in place. Please stay safe everyone,” the star posted on Instagram.

Search called off for boy, 5, swept away by California floodwaters

Monday 9 January 2023 23:43 , Graeme Massie

Authorities say that Cal Fire responded to a 911 call to help a vehicle that had become stuck in the San Marcos Creek creekbed near Paso Robles, California, on Monday morning.

Search called off for boy, 5, swept away by California floodwaters

Social media videos capture Montecito water levels

Monday 9 January 2023 22:59 , Graeme Massie

Montecito mudslide remembrance event cancelled

Monday 9 January 2023 22:55 , Graeme Massie

Twenty-three people died and 100 homes were destroyed in devastating mudslides in the city five years ago.

Montecito Fire Department’s website crashes

Monday 9 January 2023 22:46 , Graeme Massie

“Our website is down due to high traffic. Please stay tuned to our social media channels for updates,” the fire department stated on Twitter.

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Serious storm hits California

Monday 9 January 2023 22:40 , Graeme Massie

 (AP)
(AP)

California hometown of Oprah, Katy Perry and Harry and Meghan evacuated over floods

Monday 9 January 2023 22:35 , Graeme Massie

Harry and Meghan’s hometown of Montecito evacuated due to extreme rain

Monday 9 January 2023 22:26 , Graeme Massie

Ritzy city, where celebs like Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry also live, is under an evacuation order due to heavy rain after days of severe storms battered Southern California.

Louise Boyle has the story.

Harry and Meghan’s hometown of Montecito evacuated

California storm blog

Monday 9 January 2023 22:18 , Graeme Massie

This is a blog on intense storms hitting California.

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