Deadly Storm Sweeps Through California, Leaving Child Dead and Thousands Without Power A powerful storm lashed California with high winds and heavy rainfall, triggering concerns of flash flooding and mudslides across the state. Tragically, the storm claimed the life of a child under 2 years old when a tree fell on their home in Occidental, a community 65 miles north of San Francisco.
This atmospheric phenomenon, referred to as an “atmospheric river,” brought a continuous flow of dense moisture from the ocean, leading to heavy downpours at a rate of 1 inch per hour, along with dangerous gale-force winds. These severe conditions have left tens of thousands without power, with over 180,000 homes and businesses affected by the outages. High winds toppled power lines and trees across the state during the night.
Cleanup efforts in San Francisco have been underway as crews work to remove debris from fallen trees blocking roadways. State officials have advised Californians to avoid travel during the storm.
The heavy rains have raised concerns of flash floods and mudslides, particularly in areas where the ground is already saturated from previous rainfall in northern California. Regions with hill slopes previously affected by wildfires are particularly vulnerable to mudslides.
To address the severe weather conditions, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency and activated California’s flood operations center. Crews have been strategically stationed in northern counties, which are expected to be the hardest hit by flooding and mudslides. Additionally, areas that have experienced recent wildfires are at a heightened risk of such incidents. Evacuation warnings have been issued in several regions, including those along the Russian River and coastal communities like Santa Cruz.