Live updates: Winter weather and snow hit US Northeast while atmospheric river impacts California


A general view shows flooded streets in Pajaro, California, on March 11. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Another atmospheric river is creeping into storm-ravaged California, pummeling communities with more rain, prompting fresh evacuation alerts and putting rescue teams on notice as residents work to recover from last week’s flooding storm.

More than 30 million people across the state were under flood alerts as the West’s 11th atmospheric river of the season pushed into Northern California and aimed Tuesday toward central and Southern California, battering ground saturated by the last round of rain and overflowing rivers.

The storm comes on the heels of another deadly atmospheric river – a long, narrow band of moisture that can carry saturated air thousands of miles like a fire hose. This round could bring up to 8 inches of rain – falling as fast as 1 inch per hour – in some places, with melting snowpack due to worsen flooding.

And after this system, another atmospheric river is forecast next week, the National Weather Service said. From severe flooding to long droughts, water-related disasters have gotten more intense in the last two decades as global temperatures climbed to record levels, new research shows.

Now, evacuation alerts are in place across California, including in Monterey County, where residents along the Salinas River were ordered to flee. Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties issued evacuation warnings Monday night ahead of the atmospheric river’s arrival in the south, with Santa Barbara officials saying the warnings will become orders in the morning.

“The forthcoming rainstorms cause concerns of localized flooding impacts to already damaged infrastructure and increased potential for debris flows and mudslides,” the Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management said in an email to CNN.

People view the wreckage of a bridge over the Tule River that was destroyed in a flash flood on March 10 in Springville, California.
People view the wreckage of a bridge over the Tule River that was destroyed in a flash flood on March 10 in Springville, California. (David McNew/Getty Images)

Facing the latest storms’ one-two punch, over 600 Californians have taken refuge in 32 shelters across 13 counties, and California National Guard troops have been helping with swift-water rescues. Roads across the state are closed, and a key river levee has been breached.

“We weren’t expecting it to be as bad as we’re seeing it,” Monterey Mayor Tyller Williamson told CNN Monday.





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