Flood warning: California declares state of emergency

California was hit by heavy rains and floods at the weekend, and more storms are expected in the next few days.

Flood warning: California declares state of emergency

California was hit by heavy rains and floods at the weekend, and more storms are expected in the next few days. A child dies as a result of the storm. The governor of the US state is now declaring a disaster.

California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a disaster in the US state because of a storm. A flood warning is in place for more than 34 million Californians. The US weather service NWS asked residents of the Bay Area around San Francisco and Sacramento to refrain from non-essential car trips. The NWS expects "excessive rain", flash floods, landslides and high winds.

A toddler died due to the extreme weather conditions - it was killed by a falling tree. The child, around two years old, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident in Sonoma County, west of the capital Sacramento, the Press Democrat newspaper reported on Wednesday evening (local time). At least two people died in severe storms in central California at the beginning of the year.

Because of the heavy rains at the turn of the year, the danger from the current storm has increased, said meteorologist Matt Solum. The soil is already saturated with moisture and cannot absorb any more rain. In his words, more storms are imminent: "It's definitely going to continue," said Solum. More storms are expected in the most populous state in the United States over the weekend and next week.

Therefore, evacuation orders apply in several cities, wrote the “Los Angeles Times”. According to the website "PowerOutage", almost 200,000 households were without electricity on Thursday night. In southern California, in the region around the coastal city of Santa Barbara, the authorities warned of floods and mud and boulder avalanches. The town of Montecito, where Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, presenter Oprah Winfrey and other celebrities live, is also affected.

Bars and restaurants in San Francisco were closed on Wednesday due to the storm. Local residents built protective walls out of sandbags. TV pictures showed flooded streets. Dozens of flights were canceled and schools were closed as a precaution.

According to the weather service, the reason for the extreme weather is - as was the case on the New Year's weekend - a so-called atmospheric flow, a damp and narrow weather band that can stretch over hundreds of kilometers. This is the third such weather event in two weeks, the Los Angeles Times said.

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