California Braces for Flooding Along Rivers; Evacuations Begin

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California residents in river towns are bracing for flooding as another “atmospheric river” is set to arrive in the state, bringing several more inches of rain to residents still struggling with drought and now facing a deluge.

The San Francisco Chronicle warned:

Rain falling over the next few days, adding to all that has already come down, will mean not just that rivers that normally flood, such as the Russian River, may overflow their banks. The risk will extend to waterways less prone to flooding, including the Napa River, the Guadalupe River in San Jose and the Carmel and Salinas rivers in the Monterey area.

The less frequently flooded rivers and creeks can be the most worrisome because residents in these areas don’t expect problems and the channels are generally far less fortified for surges.

In Santa Cruz County, the city of Watsonville coordinated with other jurisdictions to issue a mandatory evacuation of several hundred homes along the Pajaro River. The river’s flows have since receded and the evacuation order has been lifted, but the Pajaro River along the Santa Cruz-Monterey county line is again expected to surge, reaching flood stage Tuesday morning.

The National Weather Service has also warned of rain hitting Southern California from Sunday evening through Tuesday. It is also warning of six-to-twelve-foot swells, telling people to avoid the beaches.

Surf the flood (Mark Rightmire/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty)

large waves to Southern California beaches
Newport Beach, CA – January 06: As a surfer rides a wave, other surfers paddle through the water looking to ride the waves brought onshore by the recent storm just north of the Newport Beach Pier early Friday morning, January 6, 2023 in Newport Beach. The storm that brought rain, wind and snow to most of California, has also brought large, and in some areas, damaging surf. (Photo by Mark Rightmire/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

However, surfers up and down the SoCal coast have been enjoying the largest waves that have been seen in the area in many years.

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