Fresh storms move in Southern California bringing a wet MLK weekend
New storms will hit Southern California this holiday weekend, further drenching the region and posing a risk of coastal flooding, especially at high tide.
The rains are expected to hit Saturday morning and continue into Monday night or Tuesday morning.
On Saturday, the National Weather Service for LA, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties said it expects “minor roadway congestion” and “moderate to brief heavy rain causing minor flooding in towns and small streams.” Rockfalls are possible in ravines and steep slopes, but meteorologists expect minimal risk of flooding from major rivers.
Another storm is forecast for Sunday and Monday, with showers and isolated thunderstorms Monday through Tuesday morning. The 5 Freeway’s Grapevine Pass could experience snow dust from Monday night into Tuesday.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass declared a local state of emergency on Friday after storms battered the city earlier this week, causing mudslides, flooding and road closures.
The city expects another storm to move in by Saturday, not only raising the possibility of more rain damage but also hampering officials’ ability to repair the damage already done.
Bass’ emergency declaration directs city governments to continue evaluating storm damage estimates and seeking state and federal assistance. It’s also asking the governor’s office to waive regulations that would slow recovery efforts.
President Biden approved a declaration of emergency for California. California Office of Emergency Services director Nancy Ward said officials have positioned resources and crews across the state for continued storm response and recovery, including the California National Guard in Santa Barbara.
At a news conference in Montecito, Gov. Gavin Newsom said the storms had highlighted the need for infrastructure improvements, including upgrading flood defenses and stormwater collection systems.
This is crucial at a time of climate change, when “the heat will be much hotter, the dry season drier and the wet season much wetter,” he said.
“The question is, are we resilient enough…are we imaginative enough to be more creative so that we can thrive in this new reality, not just survive?”
Storms also continued to threaten Northern California, with concerns about further flooding along Monterey Bay.
“These storms continue to be dangerous and dynamic, posing a threat to communities across the state of California,” Ward said Friday. “We’re not over the hill yet. The threat to communities remains and the waters will continue to rise even after these storms have passed.”
David Lawrence, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said most of California is oversaturated, making it prone to flooding, mudslides and landslides, coastal erosion and fallen trees. Heavy rains, strong winds and more snow in the mountains are again expected in northern California on Saturday, he said.