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California levee breaks in the middle of a storm; second atmospheric river en route


Alejo said the levee is unlikely to be fully repaired before the next storm hits the area Monday night.

“We are very worried about the arrival of the second storm,” he said.

The county issued an alert Saturday for customers of the Pajaro Sunny Mesa Water District warning them not to drink tap water or use it for food preparation because local wells had flooded during the storm. .

Another Monterey County community, Arroyo Seco, remained under mandatory evacuation Saturday after a major road was swept away by the storm Friday, county officials said.

Nearly 18,000 utility customers in the county were without power Saturday, according to network tracking site

Other parts of the state were affected by the extreme weather, including Santa Cruz County, where local government officials released videos and photos of flood damage in the community of Soquel.

Further south, evacuation orders for parts of San Luis Obispo County were lifted Saturday, but some neighborhoods remained under evacuation warnings.

The cities of San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay have declared local emergencies in response to extreme weather conditions.

“City officials and staff are preparing for a series of two riverine atmospheric storms that are each expected to bring several inches of rain to San Luis Obispo,” the city said in a statement.

On Friday, Kern County officials placed low-lying areas in the communities of Riverkern and Kernville under evacuation orders amid forecast flooding.

In Southern California, the Ventura County Fire Department said Saturday that a sinkhole measuring 30 by 300 feet appeared between two homes in the town of Camarillo.

President Joe Biden declared a federal emergency on Thursday to help expedite disaster relief.

The weather service said in a discussion of the forecast that the Bay Area and central coast were on track for the next front, which it described as likely more intense and more precipitation-laden.

“This event will be more widespread,” said meteorologist Kristan Lund of the National Weather Service’s Oxnard office.

A scale for atmospheric rivers, developed by scientists at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, measured the weekend storm at its weakest level, AR 1. Monday’s storm is expected to reach an intensity and duration of AR 3 , said to represent a storm that is both “beneficial and dangerous.”

Atmospheric rivers have helped Los Angeles record nearly 21 inches of rain since the season began Oct. 1, topping the annual average of 14.77 inches. It is not yet clear whether Los Angeles and points to the south will be significantly impacted by the next atmospheric river.

Michelle Acevedo, Christian Santana, Eric Mendoza And Emma Li contributed.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.