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Photos show record California floods led to boat rescues, mudslides, and breached levees. More rain is coming.


man dumps bucket of brown water onto flooded street through shop doorwayA business struggles with floodwaters in San Carlos, California, on December 31, 2022.

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

  • An atmospheric river dumped record rainfall across Nothern California on New Year’s Eve.
  • Photos show flooding, landslides, boat, and helicopter rescues, breached levees, and a sinkhole.
  • Another atmospheric river is approaching, possibly bringing worse flooding Wednesday and Thursday.

Northern California was inundated with floodwaters when an atmospheric river dumped record rain across the area on New Year’s Eve.

Californians have just a few days of respite before another atmospheric river — a channel of water vapor that can carry as much water as a river — is expected to inundate the area on Wednesday and Thursday. It will be “similar in strength or stronger than the New Years Eve storm,” according to the National Weather Service.

Since soil is already saturated from the recent storm, it may not be able to absorb as much water when the new atmospheric river rains down. That could mean even worse flooding.

flooding under highway partially submerges a car in san franciscoA car is partially submerged on a flooded road after heavy rains in San Francisco, California, December 31, 2022, in this screengrab obtained from a social media video.

Dav Yaginuma/Reuters

The recent storm left people stranded, vehicles submerged and abandoned, highways closed, and triggered mudslides and landslides. At least two people have died in the floods. Rescue efforts are ongoing, and the floodwaters are still surging in some areas.

car drives around landslide pile of dirt ringed with floodwater blocking mountain highwayA landslide blocks Highway 92 West in San Mateo County, California, on December 31, 2022.

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Oakland saw its wettest day on record on Saturday, and San Francisco was just shy of its record. Footage from John Shrable, a meteorologist with local news station KRON4, shows significant flooding in the city: 

—John Shrable (@JohnShrable) January 1, 2023

The Oakland Zoo closed on Sunday, after a culvert overwhelmed with rainfall collapsed underground and opened a sinkhole.

—Oakland Zoo (@oakzoo) January 1, 2023

Floodwaters continued to cause trouble after the rain stopped, stranding people and incapacitating businesses.

Atmospheric rivers can dump more and more rain as global temperatures rise because a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture. That increases the risk of severe flooding events like this (or worse) in the future, scientists have warned.

Levee breaches, boat, and helicopter rescues, and two deaths in Sacramento County

flooded homes yards fields aerial view california sacramento countyAn aerial view of the damage after rainstorms caused a levee to break, flooding Sacramento County roads near Wilton, California, January 1, 2023.

Fred Greaves/Reuters

Floodwaters breached levees in the Sacramento Valley on Sunday, leading to evacuation orders — followed by shelter-in-place orders — and flooding Highway 99, the main thoroughfare cutting through the Central Valley.

Rescue efforts throughout the region are ongoing. One person was found dead in a submerged vehicle on Sunday morning, FOX40 News reported. Another person died after being pulled from the waters, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

In Elk Grove, the fire department used a boat to rescue people from a temporary island created by the flooding, sharing the photo below on Saturday.

—Cosumnes Fire Dept. (@CosumnesFire) December 31, 2022

 

Elsewhere, a person was rescued by helicopter after floodwaters trapped them against a tree.

—Metro Fire of Sacramento (@metrofirepio) January 1, 2023

 

San Francisco is flooded and Tahoe is snowed in

The Instagram page for Rintaro, a San Francisco restaurant, shared video of its facilities overwhelmed with standing water.

A post shared by Sylvan Mishima Brackett (@mr_rintaro)

 

One San Francisco resident shared footage of a forceful mudslide on Twitter, saying it was running through the Bernal Heights neighborhood on Saturday.

—Zach Klein (@zachklein) December 31, 2022

Further footage shows muddy floodwaters rushing downhill on a residential street.

—Zach Klein (@zachklein) December 31, 2022

 

In Tahoe, the atmospheric river dumped snow onto roadways that left some drivers stranded and prompted authorities to close major roadways.

Nearby, huge boulders rolled onto Highway 50 during the storm. The California Department of Transportation said it would need to explode them.

—Caltrans District 3 (@CaltransDist3) January 1, 2023

 

Read the original article on Business Insider