The devastating storm ‘Pineapple Express’ has begun to batter the west coast, putting 21 counties under a state of emergency, while authorities fear it will increase the death toll of 13 people in the region.
Evacuation warnings have been issued in several coastal counties as severe storms are expected to bring heavy rain and widespread flooding.
About 17 million people in parts of California and Nevada are under a flood watch as of Friday, with the weather front bringing more than an inch of rain every hour during the day.
More than a dozen people have died and many more remain stranded in the San Bernardino Mountain Range as record amounts of snow have hit the Golden State in recent weeks.
The past few weeks have seen some of the most destructive weather on the West Coast in recent memory, with snowpack levels across the state currently 215 percent higher than normal, according to the meteorologist. snoflo.
Torrential rain will continue to batter the Golden State through the weekend as 21 counties are under a state of emergency
The wet and wild weather comes after California has seen record snowfall in recent months, with mountainous regions remaining under deep snowpack.
A level four of four excessive rain warning has been issued for California residents stretching from Salinas to San Luis Obispo.
The National Weather Service is warning of severe storms that will cause catastrophic flooding in several areas along the West Coast by the weekend.
“Multiple rounds of rain in addition to snow melt will lead to the possibility of significant increases along streams and rivers, with possible widespread flooding impacts through early next week,” the forecaster said Thursday.
Nevada is also expected to be hit by the storm, causing strong gusty winds and more flooding in the northeast of the state.
The area has been covered with more than 170 inches of snowpack, with the deepest snow reaching a depth of 230 inches at Leavitt Lake.
But now that torrential rain is forecast to sweep through the state, the rapidly melting snow is raising fears of severe property damage and travel chaos in the days ahead.
As of 6 a.m. Friday, more than 67,000 California homes and businesses were without power.
Roofs collapsed under deep snow and rain in some communities, while Yosemite National Park closed its gates until Monday due to the weather.
And forecasters have warned that the influx will potentially put more “life and property” in “great danger” in California.
“Areas that do not experience flash flooding will inundate,” the National Weather Service continued.
“The first round of heavy precipitation is expected through Friday, with heavy precipitation likely again from Sunday through early next week.”
Deputies reportedly went door to door Thursday night when the St. Lawrence River began to flood its banks due to the downpour.
Santa Cruz County ordered residents of Felton Grove, Paradise Park and Soquel Village to evacuate, with local Sean Gianni telling KABC it was his fourth evacuation due to California’s recent climate struggle.
“The river is very high, there are a couple of houses in the neighborhood that are not even elevated, so they are going to be completely under water,” he said.
The Santa Rosa Fire Department has also warned people to avoid all ‘unnecessary travel’ as shocking footage showed the entirety of Highway 12 submerged.
In San Mateo County, about 20 miles from San Francisco, two motorists escaped serious injury after a tree collapsed on top of their Tesla due to high winds.
Speaking after placing 21 counties in a state of emergency, California Governor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday night: ‘The state is working around the clock with local partners to deploy first responders and rescue teams to California communities.
“With more dangerous storms on the horizon, we will continue to mobilize all available resources to protect Californians.”
In San Mateo County, high winds caused a tree to crush a Tesla while two occupants, who survived, were inside.
The 12 Freeway in Santa Rosa, California was submerged Friday as torrential rain swept through the region.
The Los Angeles area will be affected by torrential rains in the coming days.
It comes after at least 13 died directly due to wild weather and heavy snowfall in recent weeks, which left large numbers of people without power across the region.
Back-to-back snowstorms have dumped more than 17 feet of snow in San Bernardino County over the past two weeks, as the Sheriff’s Department said it has responded to 13 related deaths since February 23.
Residents of mountain communities told the Los Angeles Times who have been stranded without food, electricity, heat and medicine for weeks.
“They are going to find more dead,” warned neighbor Liberty Guerrero, who said she knew three elderly people from the area who died in the last week.
Last week, San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicus warned locals to avoid the mountains due to heavy snowfall, as deputies worked tirelessly to get stranded residents out.
Many have been trapped inside their homes in San Bernardino, California, as emergency vehicles struggle to cross snow-covered roads.
Storm ‘Pineapple Express’ will begin moving across the Midwest over the weekend, bringing more than six inches of snow to the Northern Plains.
After spreading across Missouri, Illoinois, and Wisconsin over the weekend, with moderate gusty winds and snow forecast.
Arriving on the East Coast on Sunday, more wild weather is forecast through Wednesday.
Strong winds, torrential rain and snow are expected in some places, and while the exact track of the weather front has not been confirmed, it is forecast to cover parts of the northeast coast into next week.