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    “California Hit by Heavy Rainstorm: Airport Closed, People Trapped in Rivers”


    Heavy Rainfall Floods Runways, Leads to Rescues Amid Warnings of Flash Flooding and Snowfall

    A powerful winter storm has slammed into California, inundating the state with heavy rainfall, leading to the closure of a regional airport, and sparking numerous rescues as swollen rivers and creeks threatened communities.

    The Santa Barbara airport, situated along California’s central coast, shut down operations on Monday as torrential rain, with accumulations of up to 10 inches (25 centimeters), submerged the runways. Airport officials announced the closure, stating that commercial flights were canceled, and general aviation operations were halted due to the flooding. The National Weather Service had issued warnings of “significant flooding” in California’s central coast region, with predictions of up to 5 inches (12 cm) of rain in many areas and isolated totals of 10 inches (25 cm) in mountain ranges.

    While the storm is anticipated to move through more swiftly compared to previous weather events, it still poses significant risks. Moderate showers persisted through Monday afternoon, with forecasts indicating more rain throughout the night and into Tuesday. The storm’s impact has already been felt, with numerous rescue operations underway across the state.

    In San Luis Obispo County, emergency crews rescued three individuals from the rising Salinas River in Paso Robles. Similar incidents occurred elsewhere, with firefighters rescuing two people stranded on top of their vehicle in floodwaters in Sloughhouse, near Sacramento. Additionally, a man camping in El Dorado Hills found himself trapped in a tree along a creek as waters rose, requiring rescue.

    Further complications are expected, with thunderstorms forecasted in valleys surrounding the state capital, potentially bringing tornadoes, hail, and gusty winds. Residents in various regions have been advised to remain vigilant.

    Precautionary measures are being taken by residents, including sandbagging homes in vulnerable areas. Forecasters have warned of potential flash flooding and power outages, issuing flood watches and warnings along coastal and mountainous regions statewide.

    In mountainous areas, several feet of snowfall are anticipated, prompting warnings for motorists to avoid high-elevation routes. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has activated its operations center and positioned resources in high-risk areas.

    Sources By Agencies

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