Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Deadly Storm Causes Floods, Power Outages in California

Wed 07 Feb 2024 | 10:17 AM
Israa Farhan

A forthcoming storm from the Pacific Ocean, the second powerful storm to hit the US West Coast in less than a week, unleashed heavy rains on Southern California yesterday (Monday), resulting in flooding and mudslides in various parts of the region.

Warnings of extreme weather for floods, high winds, and winter storms were issued yesterday in parts of California and southwest Arizona, home to about 35 million people, with authorities urging residents to limit driving.

The National Weather Service documented staggering amounts of rainfall from the storm, which hit Northern California on Sunday, accompanied by strong winds, along with heavy rains intensifying as the storm moved southward yesterday and the day before.

"We're talking about one of the wettest storm systems to impact the greater Los Angeles area" since records began, Ariel Cohen, chief NWS meteorologist in L.A., told an evening news conference. "Going back to the 1870s, this is one of the top three."

The White House said President Joe Biden spoke with California Governor Gavin Newsom and Mayor Karen Bass, pledging federal assistance to areas severely affected by the storm.

The Los Angeles Police Department reported dozens of traffic collision incidents resulting in injuries since the storm began, significantly higher than usual.

Winds reaching speeds of 121 kilometers per hour on Sunday caused trees and power lines to fall across the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast in California, resulting in power outages for around 875,000 homes at the peak of the storm.

At least two people were killed due to fallen trees.

Brian Ferguson, a spokesperson for the governor's Office of Emergency Services, said rescue teams rescued dozens of individuals and transported them to safe locations across the state, most of whom were trapped motorists attempting to drive on waterlogged roads.