76°F
weather icon Clear

More rain, snow soak saturated California; Disneyland closes early

LOS ANGELES — Much of saturated California faced the threat of flooding Tuesday with winter storms blowing through, but so far the state has escaped the severity of damage from mudslides, wind and rain spawned by an atmospheric river only weeks ago.

While the rainfall was focused on Southern California, thunderstorms and strong winds are expected across wide swaths of the state and intermittent mountain snow could hit in the north. Some flood watches and warnings were expected to remain in effect into Wednesday.

The heaviest rain is expected in the Los Angeles area Tuesday, picking up even more at night with an additional one to two inches on top of the two to five inches that have fallen in the area in recent days, said Bob Oravec, lead forecaster with the National Weather Service in Maryland.

“It’s heavy but not quite as heavy as previously,” he said. “But it’s been a wet month across southern California. The ground is saturated so any additional rain can bring the chance of flash flooding.”

The Los Angeles area has received around ten inches of rain so far this month, with parts of the coastline and mountain areas farther north receiving more than a foot of precipitation, Oravec said.

The upside, he said, is there’s some light at the end of the tunnel: the region isn’t expected to see more rain at least until the following weekend.

‘Rain over snow’

Jim Callahan, who owns a hardware store in Los Angeles, said last year’s rains were perhaps more trying for residents because they weren’t as prepared for the challenges as they were this year.

Sandbags sold out at his Mid-Wilshire neighborhood store about a week ago, he said. Sump pumps, tarps and roof patches have been flying off the shelves as residents grapple with leaks and floods in their homes.

“It’s not the worst I’ve seen, but it’s certainly the most all in one time,” Callahan said of the rains. His family has run Callahan Hardware since 1908.

“Here in Los Angeles we’re spoiled. We don’t have any season except for sun so when we get a little bit of rain, people act a little crazy. But we’ll take the rain over snow any day of the week,” he added.

At Workboots 4 U, a shop about three miles south from Callahan’s shop, store manager Ed Diaz said business has been brisk with construction workers and others seeking waterproof boots.

The 31-year-old Los Angeles resident said the rains have also snarled his workday commute: his truck’s engine broke down in floodwaters and he’s been forced to take the bus to work downtown in recent days.

“It’s a pain,” he said. “It feels like the rain has been getting crazier these last couple of years. People are adjusting and learning to deal with it, but it’s not easy on everyone.”

Rain forces closures

Tuesday’s rains forced Disneyland to shorten its hours while nearby Knott’s Berry Farm and SeaWorld in San Diego closed outright.

A flood prone stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway was closed south of Los Angeles, and evacuation warning s were issued to the west due to possible mudslides.

The National Weather Service also warned any brave souls venturing to the shoreline to stay far back from the crashing ocean waves.

North of the city, the Santa Barbara Airport reopened a day after heavy rains flooded the runways, according to a statement on its website.

Ethan Ragsdale, a spokesperson for the Santa Barbara Police Department, implored residents to stay away from creeks and other normally tame water bodies even after the rains subside.

“They’re absolutely dangerous,” he told The Associated Press. “There’s swiftly moving water and what we don’t want is to have somebody get injured or worse.”

The wet, wintry weather hit the state only weeks after a powerful atmospheric river parked itself over Southern California, turning roads into rivers, causing hundreds of landslides and killing at least nine people.

This week’s storm already has led to several rescues on swollen rivers and creeks on Monday. Crews helped three people out of the rising Salinas River in Paso Robles while a camper trapped in a tree was rescued along a creek in El Dorado Hills, northeast of Sacramento.

Federal authorities have also approved disaster assistance for residents of San Diego County.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Sunday that assistance from the disaster declaration will help with recovery efforts following severe storms that hit the Southern California region in late January, damaging more than 800 homes and leading to at least three deaths.

The aid can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-interest loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs for individuals and business owners, the agency said.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
House speaker goes own way on wartime funding

House Speaker Mike Johnson unveiled a complicated proposal for passing wartime aid for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan.

Biden hosts Iraqi leader after Iran’s attack on Israel

President Joe Biden hosted Iraq’s leader at the White House as his administration worked to prevent an escalation in Mideast hostilities.

Israel has to avoid escalation in Iran response, Macron says

European leaders joined the U.S in pushing for Israel to restrain its response to Iran’s drone and missile attack, in a bid to allay a wider military conflict.

Israel will respond to Iran’s attack, military chief says

Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said that Israel is still considering its steps, but he said that the Iranian strike of missiles and attack drones “will be met with a response.”

Disneyland closing 4 attractions during busy spring season

Disneyland will close four attractions for seasonal refurbishments during the Season of the Force and Pixar Fest events just as the spring break crowds begin to dwindle at the Anaheim theme parks.

14 people dead after landslides in Indonesia

Torrential rains triggered landslides on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, killing at least 14 people and leaving three others missing, officials said Sunday.

33 dead in Afghanistan after heavy rain, flooding

Heavy flooding from seasonal rains in Afghanistan has killed at least 33 people and injured 27 others in three days, a Taliban spokesman said Sunday.