Flooding and mudslides continued to batter California on Saturday, but the onslaught of wind, rain and snow that has battered the Golden State over the past three weeks is expected to dry up in the coming days.
The worst-hit area Saturday was south of San Francisco, where landslides closed roads in Fremont, while the tiny community of Felton Grove along the San Lorenzo River was ordered to evacuate. Large areas of San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties also received flood warnings, and the swollen Salinas River flooded farmland in Monterey County.
Flooding was also reported in Marin and Napa north of San Francisco and in the community of Vina near Sacramento.
Two more storm systems are expected for the already rainy state, with light rain likely Sunday, followed by heavy rain with the potential for more flooding through Tuesday, according to FOX Weather senior meteorologist Greg Diamond.
Aside from a bit more drizzle and some snow in far Northern California on Thursday, however, most soaked residents across the state can expect extended dry days starting midweek.
“An end is in sight,” said Diamond.
Since late December, more than 30 inches of rain has fallen in the state, with some estimates exceeding 40 inches near Santa Barbara, Diamond said.
Los Angeles is expected to receive another 1 to 2 inches of rain, while 2 to 3 inches of rain is expected in San Francisco and Sacramento through Tuesday.
The Sierra Nevada mountain range could get up to 4 to 7 feet of snow before it stops falling.
The snow lab at UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab tweeted Saturday morning that it had received 21.3 inches of snow in 24 hours and that about 10 feet of snow was expected to rise several more feet by Monday.
The Sierra Avalanche Center issued a backcountry avalanche warning Saturday for the central Sierra, including the greater Lake Tahoe area.
Diamond noted that while 26 million Californians were under flooding on Saturday, the flooding was not expected to be as severe as the previous monster storms of the month. These led to nightmare conditions, including flooded roads, sinkholes and mudslides, forcing tens of thousands to evacuate.
At least 19 storm-related deaths have been recorded so far. A five-year-old boy is still missing after his mother’s truck was swept away by floodwaters.
There were 38,000 people statewide without power as of Saturday afternoon, according to Poweroutage.us.
The torrential rains, however, have brought some silver linings, Diamond said.
California no longer has areas on the U.S. Drought Watch in “extreme drought” — the worst classification — for the first time in nearly three years, The Los Angeles Times mentionted. So has the IRS expanded the May 15 tax filing deadline for any California businesses or individuals in areas under a federal emergency declaration.
Meanwhile, the state is seeing a record for its snowpack, which is critical to the state’s water supply. Diamond said there is currently 30 inches of water blocked, or more than 220% above average for this time of year.
gov. Gavin Newsom said during a Friday visit to Montecito that residents should listen to public safety officials.
“I know how tired you all are,” Newsom said. “Just be a little more vigilant over the next weekend.”
With pole cables