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California: Thousands Without Power As Stormy Weather Lashes Region

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Thousands of Californians are without power after two days of violent winds and heavy rain. On Friday, January 6, utility workers were attempting to restore electricity. As the weekend approaches, the region is getting ready for inclement weather.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the second round of heavy rain and strong winds was forecast to hit the northwest corner of California late on Friday before moving southward through the San Francisco Bay Area and central coast on Saturday and Sunday. Another area to be affected was Southern Oregon.

The upcoming storm, which the NWS described as another “atmospheric river” of concentrated moisture streaming in from the Pacific, is expected to drop several more inches (cm) of rain on an area already saturated after repeated downpours since late December, reiterating hazards of flash flooding and mudslides.

Forecasters warn that hillsides and valleys that have been burned by wildfires in the past are particularly susceptible to rock and mudslides. In addition to the torrential rain, higher elevations of the Sierras, where accumulations of a foot to 18 inches (46 cm) or more were observed earlier this week, were predicted to get up to 2 feet (60 cm) of snow over the weekend.

On Friday, the majority of California’s northern two-thirds, the country’s most populous state, were under flood watches, gale-force wind advisories, and winter storm warnings as forecasters warned people to brace themselves for the onslaught and avoid driving in flood-prone areas.

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