Unprecedented storms: a new deluge in California left more than 20,000 homes without electricity

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About 26 million residents remain under flood watch, according to the National Weather Service. A new “atmospheric river” is expected to return on Monday

Unprecedented storms: a new deluge in California left more than 20,000 homes without power

A new deluge in California left more than 20,000 homes without power. (AP)

Another deluge fell this Saturday on the state of California, in the western United States, causing major flooding, after three weeks of unprecedented rainfall > that caused at least 19 deaths.

An impressive wave of rain -and snow in mountainous areas- devastated many areas of the most populous state this Saturday of the country, whose already waterlogged soils are reaching saturation point.

State Governor Gavin Newsom, warned Californians they are still not safe: “It is not over,” he said Saturday after visiting storm-affected residents.

Unprecedented storms: a new deluge in California left more than 20,000 homes without electricity

The governor of the state, Gavin Newsom, warned Californians that they are not yet safe: “It is not over,” he said this Saturday after visiting the inhabitants affected by the storms. (REUTERS)

Newsom urged residents to remain vigilant and continue to exercise “common sense over the course of the next 24 to 48 hours.”

Nearly 26 million Californians remain under flood watch, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), and tens of thousands are ordered to evacuate.

Unprecedented storms precedents: a new deluge in California left more than 20,000 homes without electricity

About 26 million Californians remain under a flood watch, according to the National Weather Service. (REUTERS)

As of 11 p.m. this Saturday, there were approximately 20,000 homes without electricity, according to the portal poweroutage.us.

In the Salinas region, a city of 160,000 inhabitants south of San Francisco, where the Salinas river overflowed, flooding affected agricultural corners of the valley but did not hit urban areas, found an AFP journalist.

Under leaden skies and intermittent showers, water spilled out of its banks in places, flooding hundreds of meters of fields.

Unprecedented storms: a new deluge in California left more than 20,000 homes without electricity

In the Salinas region, a city of 160,000 south of San Francisco, where the river of the same name burst its banks, the flooding affected agricultural corners of the valley but spared urban areas. (REUTERS)

In Spreckels, a small community near the river, most residents chose not to evacuate despite warnings from authorities.

< p class="paragraph">In one of the areas, two tractors equipped with pumping equipment returned the stagnant water accumulated by the rains of recent days to the river, to prevent the soil from completely flooding.

The region has been hit hard by drought in recent years,” Manuel Paris, a 58-year-old farm worker, told AFP, amazed by the flowing river. at full speed. “It's been a long time, we're not used to seeing so much rain anymore.”

Unprecedented storms: A new deluge in California left more than 20,000 homes without power

At least 19 people have died since the start of this series of weather events. Drivers have been found trapped in their vehicles by waves, people have been injured after falling trees, a couple died in a landslide and bodies have been washed away by floodwaters. (REUTERS)

A series of storms has hit California in recent weeks. Brief outages barely give authorities time to clean up debris or restore power.

According to meteorologists, the surge of extreme weather will not it's over.

A new “atmospheric river” is expected to return on Monday, that is, a strip of humidity that transports large amounts of water from the tropics. The NWS warns that it will bring “new waves of extreme precipitation”.

In the mountains, this phenomenon translates into heavy snowfall , with more than one meter expected over the weekend in Sierra Nevada, for which reason the authorities warn about the risk of avalanches and advise against any displacement.

Images released by authorities of a major highway in the Lake Tahoe region show dozens of cars stopped in the middle of a snow storm on Saturday morning.

Unprecedented storms: a new flood in California left more than 20,000 homes no electricity

Images released by authorities of a major highway in the Lake Tahoe region show dozens of cars stopped in a snowstorm on Saturday morning. (REUTERS)

At least 19 people have died since the start of this series of weather events. Drivers have been found trapped in their vehicles by waves, people have been injured by falling trees, a couple died in a landslide and bodies have been washed away by floodwaters.

California is used to extreme weather, and winter storms are common.

But scientists say climate change, fueled by the burning of fossil fuels on the human side, it is making these events more ferocious.

While it is causing short-term disasters, rain is badly needed in the western United States , where more than two decades of drought have imposed unprecedented restrictions on water use.

Unprecedented storms: New deluge in California left more than 20,000 homes without power

Pete Dal Ferro wades through his neighborhood as the San Lorenzo River rises with emergency evacuation orders in Felton Grove, California, U.S., January 14, 2023. REUTERS/David Swanson

However, experts warn that even the monster downpours that have hit the region this month are not going to reverse more than 20 years of below-average rainfall.

Shasta Lake, the state's largest reservoir, was still at just two-thirds of its historic average in early January, according to data from the department of water resources.

(With information from AFP)

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