Disasters & Accidents

Heavy storms expected to continue in California as death toll rises to 19

Los Angeles, USA, Jan 12 (EFE).- More heavy rainfall is expected to hit northern California over the coming week, the US National Weather Service said on Thursday, after days of unprecedented storms which have left 19 people dead.

The NWS warned on Twitter that “heavy to excessive rainfall is expected from saturated northern California to coastal areas of Oregon and Washington.”

On Wednesday night, an evacuation order was issued for the residents of the Monterey Peninsula by county sheriff Tina Nieto, who warned reporters that the “peninsula may become an island.”

Nineteen people are confirmed to have died due to the storms that have battered the state, making it “one of the deadliest disasters in the history of our state,” according to Brian Ferguson, a spokesman for the state’s Emergency Services office.

The deaths include a two-year-old boy who was crushed by a tree that fell on his house and a five-year-old who was swept away by a flooded creek.

California governor Gavin Newsom has urged residents not to let their guard down.

The expected storms still threaten to produce “flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations,” the NWS said.

The heavy rainfall has also caused landslides and sinkholes. The floods have hit the state after years of droughts and wildfires which have made the ground “saturated”, according to California’s Department of Water Resources.

Over the weekend, US president Joe Biden declared an emergency across the state, granting the Federal Emergency Management Agency powers to coordinate the delivery of aid. EFE


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