A “Hurricane Bomb” leapt upon California Wednesday, January 4, will bring strong winds and heavy rains, with the possibility of flooding in many areas where the ground is already saturated with water from other recent storms. Northern California, particularly the areas around San Francisco and Sacramento, are most at risk. Officials have issued several warnings, warning that the storm has the potential to kill people.
Wind gusts of up to 110 km/h are expected on Wednesday, according to the US Weather Service (NWS). The most intense rain is also expected to hit the area, with up to 10 centimeters of rain expected in San Francisco Bay and 1.2 meters of snow expected in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Flooding is expected to continue on Thursday. The region must prepare “Major flooding, submerged roads, landslides, falling trees, major power outages, immediate disruption of trade and worst of all loss of life”According to the NWS.
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California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Wednesday morning to facilitate emergency response and streamline authorities’ response to an incident. San Francisco has set up an emergency operations center. “If you have no obligation to be outside in San Francisco, avoid the road”, warned Rachel Gordon, the city’s public works officer. Bars and restaurants there were closed Wednesday, and some residents were asked to work from home. City firefighters reported several downed trees and some minor flooding Wednesday morning before the heart of the storm arrived. Thousands of sandbags have been distributed to residents of flood-prone areas.
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