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Storm triggers mudslides, powerful winds across wildfire-scarred California

California Storms
California Storms
California Storms
California Storms
California Storms
California Storms
Posted at 11:10 AM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 13:19:39-05

An atmospheric river made its way slowly across California this week, a weather term meaning a long stream of moisture and resulting in drenching rain. While California needs the water, the record-setting wildfires of 2020 left desolate burn scars, which became dangerous mudslides as several inches of water fell within hours combined with strong winds.

At least two dozen homes were damaged in Monterey County alone, south of San Francisco, when the debris flow from multiple mudslides crashed into nearby communities.

“A few residents in their vehicles had been trapped in a mudslide, so they were able to get out. But as we discovered in the neighborhoods, some homes between 20 and 25 residences and outbuildings had been at least partially damaged by the mudflow,” Monterey County Deputy Fire Marshal Dorothy Priolo told the media.

Flash flood warnings and watches popped up all over the state Tuesday and Wednesday. Big Sur reported nearly ten inches of rain in 24 hours.

Strong winds toppled trees and blew debris crashing into cars, homes and buildings. Hundreds of people in Sacramento spent Wednesday and Thursday morning assessing damage from trees.

At one point, about 400,000 people were without power because of the powerful winds. Winds were gusting in excess of 50 mph around Northern California, and topped 120 mph near Lake Tahoe at Alpine Ski Resort.

Rain is in the forecast for Thursday and Friday for parts of California, and possibly more wet weather early next week.