LOS ANGELES – Two people died in a flooded vehicle, evacuations were ordered to wildfire-raved California, and Seattle and Portland faced a rare chance of snow-covered roads as a hurricane wave swept across the western United States.
New storms, which could bring rain and snow over much of the region next week and plunge the Pacific Northwest into a prolonged cold spell, according to a now-off-atmospheric river that brings copious amounts of rain in this week.
On Thursday, two people died when their car was submerged in a flooded tunnel in Millbrae, California, just south of San Francisco. Firefighters who rescued two people climbed to the top of a car but they were unable to reach the fully submerged vehicle, said the San Mateo County sheriff. Javier Acosta said.
In the Sierra Nevada, evacuation warnings were issued Thursday for about 150 homes downstream of the Twain Harte Lake Dam after cracks were found in the granite adjacent to the man-made portion of the 36-foot-tall structure. (11 meters).
The warning was lifted around 6 p.m. after inspectors determined the dam was structurally stable and cleared it for further use, according to a Facebook post by the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office. .
The Sierra may see 5 to 8 feet (1.5 to 2.4 meters) of snow during the holidays, with elevations possibly as high as 10 feet (3 meters) and authorities are advising people to avoid going. through passes, where it can be dangerous.
The winter storm warning issued Friday remains in effect until 10 a.m. Tuesday for most of the Sierra, where up to 3 feet (91 cm) of snow fell early Friday in the southern Mammoth Mountains. Yosemite National Park. About 61 centimeters fell on Thursday at several ski resorts in the Tahoe area.
Up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) of new snow is possible on mountain peaks around Lake Tahoe on Tuesday. Expect to be one to 3 feet (30-91 cm) above lake level. The National Weather Service says wind gusts over the ridges can exceed 100 mph (160 km/h), making travel “impossible”.
In Southern California, an evacuation order was issued Thursday night in Orange County because of possible landslides and debris flows in three canyons where last December’s wildfire burned the ground. The Orange County Fire Department reported a landslide Thursday night in a canyon affecting several roads but no injuries were reported.
On Thursday, a slow-moving front shed some of the rainiest parts of eastern Nevada at the time in more than half a century.
Ely Airport near the Utah line sets records for both rain and snow. Rainfall of 0.61 inches (1.5 cm) broke the old record of 0.55 (1.4 cm) set in 1955. 3.6 inches (19 cm) of snow is 3 inches higher (7). ,6 cm) was established in 2001.
A record 0.41 inches (1 cm) of rain fell at Eureka, breaking the old 0.14 inches (40 mm) of rain set in 1968.
In preparation for freezing temperatures, snow and ice in the Pacific Northwest this weekend and next, Oregon state officials have declared a state of emergency and shelters are being opened across the region. help the homeless.
At least five inclement weather shelters in the Portland, Oregon metro area will open starting at 3 p.m. on Christmas Day. And the city’s public transport will be free for those in need of shelter. Seattle city leaders will open two extreme weather shelters on the evenings starting Saturday through at least Wednesday.
“Local governments are working hard to get everyone to a place that’s warm and dry, but we can’t be everywhere,” said Dr. Jennifer Vines, public health officer for Multnomah County, Portland’s hometown. – said on Friday. “Like the heat event nearly six months ago until today, we’re asking all county residents to check in on others, direct individuals to warm shelters, and help distribute equipment. to keep everyone warm and alive.”
Recent forecasts suggest at least an inch of snow is likely to fall on Sunday in parts of Seattle and Portland, which don’t normally see snow.
But forecasters and state officials say the main concern is frigid temperatures in the region, with daytime highs next week struggling to stay above freezing, potentially affecting those the homeless and those who cannot afford heating.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency on Thursday night that will remain in effect through January 3, saying expected snow and temperatures remaining below freezing could lead to breakdowns. Severe traffic and disruption to electrical and communication infrastructure.
Portland and Multnomah counties have previously declared states of emergency.
AP journalists Stefanie Dazio of Los Angeles, Sara Cline of Portland, Oregon, and Scott Sonner of Reno, Nevada, contributed to this report. Cline is a corps member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for the Americas is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover covered issues.