WATSONVILLE, Calif. — Damp, miserable weather continued across large swaths of California Sunday as an atmospheric river that caused extensive flooding flowed east, giving way to another spate of rain and snow that could hit the embattled region again as early as Monday morning. evening. .

The National Weather Service said the upcoming torrent could exacerbate severe flooding that has hit the area in recent days, including a levee failure that prompted widespread evacuations Saturday in farming communities near the state’s central coast.

Across Monterey County, more than 8,500 people were under evacuation orders and warnings Saturday, including approximately 1,700 residents, many of them Latino farmworkers, from the unincorporated community of Pájaro.

The upcoming weather system doesn’t appear to be as powerful as the last, but weather officials warned that «considerable flooding» could occur at lower elevations due to additional rain and snowmelt that could swell streams and creeks.

Rain and snow are expected to extend from central California to Oregon, as well as northern Nevada.

The atmospheric river, known as the «Pineapple Express» because it brought warm subtropical moisture across the Pacific from near Hawaii, was melting the undersides of the massive snowpack in the California mountains.

Due to massive flooding early this weekend, first responders and the California National Guard had to rescue more than 50 people. A video showed a member of the Guard helping a driver out of a car trapped in waist-deep water.

The extent of the property damage was still uncertain, but Luis Alejo, president of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, sought help from the state and federal governments.

“The need will be great! Our residents will take months to repair their homes!” she wrote herself in a tweet on Saturday.

Governor Gavin Newsom has declared emergencies in 34 counties in recent weeks, and the Biden administration approved a presidential disaster declaration for some on Friday morning, a move that will bring more federal assistance. President Joe Biden spoke with Newsom on Saturday to pledge the support of the federal government in California’s response to the emergency, the White House said.

weather related power outages affected more than 17,000 customers in Monterey County Saturday night, according to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

The governor’s office said it continued to monitor the situation in Pájaro.

The Pajaro River separates Santa Cruz and Monterey counties in the area that flooded Saturday. Floodwaters that reached wells in the region could be contaminated with chemicals, authorities said, and residents were told not to drink or cook with tap water.

Officials had been working along the levee in hopes of shoring it up when it broke around midnight Friday into Saturday. Crews began work to repair the levee around dawn Saturday while residents slept in evacuation centers.

This week’s storm marked the state’s 10th atmospheric river of winter, storms that brought tremendous amounts of rain and snow to the state and helped ease three-year dry conditions. State reservoirs that had dipped to shockingly low levels are now well above average for this time of year, prompting state officials to release water from reservoirs to help control flooding and make room for more rain.

In San Francisco, an 85-foot (25.91-meter) Eucalyptus tree fell on the Trocadero Club House early Saturday morning. The 1892 clubhouse, a San Francisco historical landmark, was severely damaged, with part of the roof crushed and the interior flooded.

Funnel clouds were observed in the Jamestown area — the heart of the California Gold Rush — Saturday afternoon and the weather service issued a tornado warning — later canceled — for the Sierra Nevada foothills as severe thunderstorms, hail and high winds blanketed the region. Another set of tornado warnings was briefly issued. in Fresno County, about 100 miles (161 kilometers) south of the Gold Country. Flash flood warnings went into effect Saturday night in Tuolumne County, with roads submerged around Sonora and neighboring communities.

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