Pineapple Express: Atmospheric River Stalls in Southern California, Adding to String of Floods and Mudslides

Highlights of the story

A rare Level 4 of 4 threat of heavy rainfall is in effect for more than 14 million people across Southern California

Waterlogged roads and damaging debris flows were reported early Monday morning

It has been raining incessantly as most of the state has already been inundated with recent record rains.


An intense, long-term atmospheric river is moving across California — with widespread power outages and the potential for mudslides and life-threatening flooding from heavy rain and snow. Follow our live coverage here. This is what happens:

A rare high flood risk persists: A spate of rain is expected to stop in Southern California, including Los Angeles, worsening the risk of flooding throughout Monday. According to the National Weather Service, Orange County, California has a chance of rain and “localized catastrophic” flooding through Tuesday. Office in San Diego.

Power outage is high: Strong winds and rain knocked out power to more than 600,000 customers in California, especially along the coast, according to the watchdog website. Wind gusts reached 98 mph in Santa Clara and 60 mph at San Francisco International Airport.

Rain could drench Los Angeles with a month's worth of rain: In central and southern California, widespread rainfall of 3 to 6 inches is expected — more than a month's worth of rain in most areas on several days.

Risk of rare rain: The National Weather Service issued a rare high risk of extreme rainfall — or Level 4 of 4 — for more than 14 million people across Southern California on Monday. This includes downtown Los Angeles, Anaheim, and Long Beach.

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Landslides and debris flows have been reported: The weather service warned of “numerous damaging landslides” in the cities of Malibu and Beverly Hills in Los Angeles County, as well as in the Santa Monica Mountains and adjacent foothills.

Authorities enforce evacuation orders: Some residents Santa Barbara, San Jose, Los Angeles And Ventura County It was under evacuation orders issued over the weekend as authorities warned of “life-threatening” flooding and landslides. Officers went door-to-door on Sunday Gives exit warnings in Sun Valley, California, according to CNN affiliate KABC. The authorities evacuated the citizens Streets flooded Sunday near Mission Creek in Santa Barbara.

Storm prevents travel in mountains: Significant snowfall is expected in eastern California and along the Nevada border, with heavy and wet snow spreading across the Sierra Nevada through Monday, with accumulation rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour, according to the weather service. The weather service is expected to create hazardous wind conditions that will make travel above 5,000-6,000 feet “impossible.” said.

• Schools cancel classes and go remote: Several school districts in Santa Barbara County canceled classes Monday due to severe weather, while others, including California State University Fullerton, switched to remote learning.

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This atmospheric river – A Long, narrow moisture strip It carries saturated air thousands of miles and then spews it out like a fire hose — following another recent storm to hit California this week that drenched much of the state, including Los Angeles. Record rain.

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California Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday declared a state of emergency for Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties with flooded roads and overflowing rivers. Storm damage.

Southern California continues to weather the lingering effects of the storm, which is slower than others and is expected to stall as it moves ashore, bringing more rain than the last storm to hit the state. According to the weather service, Californians can expect the storm's worst impacts and the risk of flooding through Tuesday.

In Los Angeles, officials urged residents to stay off the roads and stay indoors if possible – sending a flash flood emergency alert to phones Sunday evening and telling people not to travel due to “dangerous and life-threatening conditions.” Between 4 and 8 inches of rain is expected. All lanes of Interstate 5 were flooded Sunday evening in San Fernando, Los Angeles County. A flash flood warning covers nearly 4 million people in western and central Los Angeles County.

Further south, the weather service reports the storm system “has the potential to drop significant and unusual rainfall in San Diego,” Mayor Todd Gloria said during a news conference Sunday.

Ethan Swope/AP

Vehicles drive past fallen branches during a downpour in Goleta, California.

Evacuation warnings were issued for low-lying and flood-prone areas of San Diego, according to Gloria. He said the city could receive 2 to 2.5 inches of rain through Tuesday, with some areas seeing half an inch of rain per hour.

“I understand the fatigue that comes from these constant warnings,” Gloria said. “I know fatigue can set in, but I can assure you, this decision to issue this warning was not taken lightly.”

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In Ventura County, California, the dangers of the storm began to build Sunday, with law enforcement officials reporting several flooded roads, submerged vehicles, rocks and mudslides and rapidly rising river levels, according to the weather service.

Just before midnight Sunday, the weather service said “multiple damaging landslides, flooded roads, submerged vehicles and flooded creeks and streams continue” in parts of Los Angeles County, including Malibu, Beverly Hills and Hollywood Hills, and the Santa Monica Mountains. Griffith Park.

In the Los Angeles neighborhood of Studio City, two homes were severely damaged by debris flows Sunday night, the Los Angeles Fire Department said. No one was injured, but nine homes were evacuated, fire officials said.

A A separate warning Early Monday morning, the department said at least three homes were affected by a debris flow in Encino, but only one was occupied at the time. Two people were evacuated and there were no injuries, the department added.

Debris flows are “fast-moving landslides” that destroy objects and can occur during periods of heavy rain. US Geological Survey.

CNN's Tina Burnside, Nouran Salahieh, Allison Chinchar, Caitlin Kaiser, Sara Tonks and Elisa Raffa contributed to this report.

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