State of emergency declared for eight counties in California due to winter storm

AP

"California Governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom, declared a state of emergency on Sunday for eight southern counties, including Los Angeles, due to a winter storm threatening to set records for rain and snow.

In addition to Los Angeles, the counties of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura were included in the declaration, facilitating the deployment of resources and the use of the California National Guard.

Newsom did not rule out expanding the emergency declaration to other affected regions of the state.


The National Weather Service (NWS) in Los Angeles stated on Sunday that a flood watch is in effect for all areas in the metropolitan region.

Over half a million California residents have lost power due to heavy rain and winds, according to PowerOutage.us.

Additionally, 19 people were rescued off the coast of Long Beach, California, after a sailboat mast broke due to strong winds, reported CNN.

Only one person suffered injuries, and the boat sustained damage but did not sink.

During a press conference, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass stated on Sunday that the storm hitting the region "is a severe weather event."

"This has the potential to be a historic storm: strong winds, thunderstorms, and even brief tornadoes," added Bass.

Residents of several cities in Ventura County were forced to evacuate due to the danger of flooding.

While thousands remain on alert for flash flood warnings, particularly in areas affected by fires and coastal zones from the California-Mexico border to the north of San Francisco Bay.

The NWS warned that the storm could set historical records for accumulated rainfall of more than 15 centimeters.

"Given the large amounts of rain expected in the period, three to six-hour rainfall rates could be problematic, leading to mud and debris flow incidents, as well as rapid water overflow in local rivers and streams," said the NWS.

Warnings of strong winds of up to 100 kilometers per hour are also in effect for nearly 30 million people in inland areas across the state.

The mountains, expecting record snowfall this Sunday, could experience wind gusts of nearly 150 kilometers per hour."