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Californians Evacuated as Big Storm Brings Rain, Wind, Snow

Flooding threatened in San Francisco Bay Area
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 2, 2019 5:30 AM CST
A man carries an umbrella as he crosses the street in San Francisco on Friday.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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(Newser) – A powerful storm descending on California Saturday threatened flooding in the entire San Francisco Bay Area and areas stripped bare by devastating wildfires. The storm that began moving in Friday night was expected to bring up to 4 inches of rain in some areas, winds gusting to 80mph in the mountains, 10-foot waves, and several feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada and other mountain ranges, per the AP. The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood watch through Saturday morning for the entire San Francisco Bay Area and much of the Central Coast. Evacuations were ordered or recommended for many areas of Northern and Southern California that were hit by wildfires in recent months. Authorities fear that an inch of rain an hour could send fire debris, mud, and boulders sluicing down stripped hillsides.

The weather service issued flash-flood watches for areas burned by the Mendocino Complex, Camp, and Carr wildfires in Northern California. Winter storm warnings went into effect in the Sierra Nevada, along with avalanche warnings on the Nevada side of the range. The Sierra is already loaded with snow from a series of storms in January. The weather service said areas could see accumulations of up to 10 feet over the next few days as a series of storms blew through. Numerous areas of the state were under warnings for high winds, some that could potentially knock down trees and power lines. Two cold weather systems will follow on Sunday and Monday, bringing additional widespread showers and snow, forecasters say.

(Read more California stories.)

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