U.S. President Joe Biden announced a state of emergency across California, a week after storms had destroyed infrastructure and left at least 12 people dead.
The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief efforts and deploy emergency resources, according to the White House’s statement.
Over the last week, severe weather resulted in a violent wind that toppled trucks, flooded the streets of small towns along northern California’s coast, and churned up a storm surge that destroyed a pier in Santa Cruz.
Footages showed giant trees that have toppled over, ripped up concrete footpaths, and destroyed nearby homes.
On his part, Governor Gavin Newsom warned that this week’s storms could be even more dangerous and urged people to stay at home.
"Just be cautious over the course of the next week, particularly the next day or two or so," Newsom said.
The weather service's Sacramento office noted: "Widespread power outages, downed trees, and difficult driving conditions will be possible."
In the same vein, around 13,000 residents were told to move from their houses in the flood-prone area of Sonoma County, north of San Francisco.
"Residents must leave now before roads become impassable," the county affirmed.
"With the severe nature of this storm, Caltrans is asking all drivers to limit nonessential travel until the peak of the storm has passed," California's Department of Transportation said.