LOS ANGELES – (AP) – Damage was widespread across California as the weather calmed down Tuesday after weeks of torrential rains battered the state with rain, wind and waves that washed away homes, highways and farmland, toppled mountains and toppled mountains. many trees.
Calculating the damage will take time, but the number of homes and other buildings that will be declared uninhabitable is likely to be “a very small number,” said Brian Ferguson, a spokesman for the Governor’s Office of Emergency Management.
The damage is spread across 41 of California’s 58 counties, Ferguson said.
In unincorporated Santa Barbara County, after more than 60 inspections of properties damaged by mud and downed trees, four buildings had red signs and 32 were yellow signs that required major repairs, said Kelsey Buttitta, director of communications in ‘the district.
“But we’re also seeing a lot – a lot – of damage when it comes to roads,” he said, estimating that more than a dozen have been completely closed. Some roads have been washed away.
No date has been set for the reopening of State Route 154, a key north-south artery in the county that is covered in mud and gravel, Buttita said.
Nine storm surges since late December have caused power outages, flooding, levee bursts, tidal waves and landslides across nearly the entire state. At least 20 people were killed.
Light rain and snow started Tuesday in parts of California, but the weather was clear.
A flurry of rain from the fast-moving system was forecast for Wednesday or Thursday, followed by drier conditions, the National Weather Service said.
Forecasters warned that although the average rainfall during the week will be less, it will be enough to cause problems as the area has a lot of rain.
Flood warnings remain in effect for the Salinas River in Monterey County and parts of Mariposa and Merced in the Central Valley.
Ventura County officials said it could take three weeks to clear the only road to the remote Matilija Canyon in the Los Padres National Forest near Ojai. Processing can take up to six months. More than 70 people were evacuated by helicopter, but a few refused to leave, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
“Massive piles of rock and mud reached a height of 40 (12 meters) in some places, blocking roads and leaving residents alone in the canyon,” the sheriff’s office said over the weekend.
In North Berkeley, eight homes were tagged after the volcano collapsed on Monday, sending mud to the property, including one owned by Marjorie Cruz. No injuries were reported.
“You can’t describe what it’s like to wake up in the morning and look out your door and see this horror,” Cruz told NBC Bay Area. “We’ve had enough rain here and for a long time.”
The amount of rain and snow across the region has been incredible.
San Francisco’s “water year” so far – from Oct. 1, 2022 – recorded 21.75 inches (55.24 centimeters) of rain, making it the sixth wettest year on record, the National Weather Service said.
The amount of water in the snow-covered Sierra Nevada and other mountains is more than 250% of normal so far and 124% of the average for April 1, when the pack is usually at its peak, according to the water department. .
President Joe Biden plans to travel to California’s central coast on Thursday to visit areas devastated by the storm. The White House said in a statement Monday that the president will meet with first responders and state and local officials, review efforts and review additional federal assistance needed.
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