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As it happenedended1708547654

California battered by mudslides and flooding during three-day storm

The storm triggered several landslides throughout the state

Mike Bedigan,Louise Boyle,Katie Hawkinson
Wednesday 21 February 2024 20:34 GMT
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Floodwaters rush through Montecito, California on Monday afternoon

A brutal storm that battered California is winding down as of Wednesday morning, with heavy rain beginning to subside.

Much of California was on flood watch on Monday and Tuesday as some regions approach ten inches of total rainfall while bracing for floods and landslides.

Road blockages, landslides and toppled trees have already been reported in and around Los Angeles. A massive tree also crashed in a Los Angeles neighbourhood on Monday, damaging parked vehicles and downing power lines.

Officials warned Californians to avoid road travel and prepare for power outages, mud or rock slides and coastal flooding. Portions of the US-101 and Pacific Coast Highway were blocked on Monday as rainfall intensified and floodwaters rushed onto the major roadway.

Meanwhile, Santa Barbara County officials issued evacuation warnings for some waterfront neighbourhoods, which could persist through Wednesday.

Many parts of California are already saturated from the heavy rain after a storm earlier this month caused hundreds of landslides so far.

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ICYMI: Watch as floodwaters rush through Santa Barbara County

Floodwaters rush through Montecito, California
Katie Hawkinson20 February 2024 11:00
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ICYMI: Los Angeles officials prepare shelters for unhoused people amid storm

Los Angeles city officials have opened winter weather shelters for unhoused people as a powerful storm hits the region, according to a statement from Mayor Karen Bass.

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority outreach workers will also be offering transportation and hotel vouchers, the statement reads.

Earlier this month, the city faced heavy criticism from community organisers over their efforts to protect the unhoused population during a record-breaking storm.

“[The system] is not designed to help anyone that’s actually out there… It was such an abysmal response,” community organiser Carla Orendorff told The Independent several days ago.

Read more about Ms Orendorff’s response and the impact of storms on unhoused people in Los Angeles, California from Mike Bedigan:

LA authorities’ response to homeless citizens during California storms ‘abysmal’

Community organisers say that contact with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) has been difficult, exacerbated by the fact that many seeking shelter do not have phones or internet access

Katie Hawkinson20 February 2024 12:00
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IN PICTURES: Road closures, flooding on Southern California freeways on Monday morning

Heavy rain pours down on US-101 in Ventura, California on Monday morning (California Department of Transportation)
Cones and signs block off a portion os US-101 in Ventura, California as heavy rain pours down (California Department of Transportation)
Rushing floodwaters pour onto US-101 in Ventura, California (California Department of Transportation)
Katie Hawkinson20 February 2024 13:00
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ICYMI: Several neighbourhoods under evacuation warnings in Santa Barbara County

Santa Barbara County officials have issued evacuation warnings for waterfront neighbourhoods as a destructive storm hits the region.

The warnings come amid threats of flash flooding and landslides from excessive rain, the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management said in a statement. The risk will persist through Wednesday.

Santa Barbara County officials have issued evacuation warnings, indicated in orange, for several neighbourhoods (Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management)
Katie Hawkinson20 February 2024 14:00
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Landslides reported in Southern California

Landslides are already impacting Southern California amid this week’s torrential downpour, Fox Weather reports.

This comes after Los Angeles alone saw 400 mudslides earlier this month from a historic series of atmospheric storms that battered the state.

Katie Hawkinson20 February 2024 14:28
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Some evacuation orders in cancelled in Santa Barbara County

Officials have lifted evacuation orders for certain waterfront neighbourhoods in Santa Barbara County.

The move comes after the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management issued the orders for several neighbourhoods on Monday morning. Other residential areas remain under the orders, which could last until Wednesday as rain and flood risks persist.

Katie Hawkinson20 February 2024 15:00
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Several roads blocked in Santa Barbara

Flooding and mudslides have blocked several roadways in Santa Barbara, California, according to the county’s Public Works Department.

These blockages come as several waterfront neighbourhoods in the county face evacuation warnings as heavy rain increases the risk of flooding.

A blocked roadway in Santa Barbara County, California on 19 February 2024 (Santa Barbara County Public Works Department)
A flooded roadway in Santa Barbara County, California on 19 February 2024 (Santa Barbara County Public Works Department)
Katie Hawkinson20 February 2024 15:20
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Mudslide damages roadside fence in Los Angeles

Officials closed part of Interstate 5 in Los Angeles, California to complete repairs on a fence damaged by a mudslide on Monday.

With California soils already over-saturated from a brutal storm earlier this month, the risk of mudslides is high as the state battles yet another heavy spell of rain.

Katie Hawkinson20 February 2024 15:40
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SEE IT: Massive tree falls in Los Angeles neighbourhood, damaging cars and power lines

Officials clean up a large tree that fell in a Los Angeles neighbourhood, damaging vehicles and power lines on 19 February 2024 (Getty Images)
High winds and heavy rain caused trees like this one to fall throughout California, causing damage to property and power lines (Getty Images)
Less than 7,000 people across California are without power as of Tuesday (Getty Images)
Katie Hawkinson20 February 2024 16:00
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Weather to ease on Wednesday morning

Forecasters with the National Weather Service expect the severe rain and winds to subside by Wednesday morning.

Through Tuesday night, severe thunderstorms will continue to impact the southern coast and heavy snow will continue to fall in California’s mountain regions.

The severe weather impacting California will begin to subside on Wednesday (National Weather Service)
Katie Hawkinson20 February 2024 16:20

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