More than 360,000 homes and businesses in California were without power as another air river lashed the storm-ravaged US state, inundating areas already swamped by recent storms and pushing inhabitants to evacuate.
According to CNN, citing PowerOutage US, Santa Clara County accounted for nearly 130,000 of the total number of establishments without power as of Tuesday evening.
Earlier in the day, more than 70,000 people were under evacuation alerts and roughly 17,000 were under orders to leave, California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services spokesperson Gustavo Ortiz told CNN.
The 11th atmospheric river to hit the West this season struck Northern California on Monday and lashed the central and southern regions of the state on Tuesday, affecting over 30 million people across the state.
The two locations of most concern are along the central California coast between Monterey and Santa Barbara counties, as well as parts of the Sierra Nevada foothills around Fresno to Bakersfield.
On Tuesday, the atmospheric river brought hurricane-force wind gusts to sections of central California, as well as widespread rainfall totals of up to 3 inches – and nearly half a foot in some places.
For nearly 15 million people in the state, a high wind warning was in force.
On Tuesday, heavy winds caused aircraft cancellations and delays at San Francisco International Airport.
According to the FlightAware tracking website, at least 345 delays and 38 cancellations have occurred.
California declared a state of emergency in 40 of the state’s 58 counties.
According to the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, over 600 people have sought refuge in 32 shelters spread over 13 counties.
In the wake of the latest storm, California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a state of emergency in three additional counties — Alpine, Orange and Trinity.
The declaration of emergency will aid the counties with “storm response and relief activities”.
This adds to the 40 counties that Newsom earlier designated in a state of emergency due to the storms.