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More Storms Drench Oversaturated Northern California

  • VOA News

A sign is submerged in the water from Coyote Creek, Feb. 21, 2017, in Morgan Hill, Calif. Rains have saturated once-drought stricken California but have created chaos for residents hit hard by the storms.

Northern California continues to reel as heavy rain push oversaturated rivers, creeks and reservoirs to flood stage.

Fire crews rescued residents from a San Jose neighborhood inundated by water from an overflowing creek Tuesday after earlier saving five people who were stranded by flooding at a homeless encampment along a creek in the city. The conditions of those rescued were not immediately available.

The rains were the latest produced by a series of storms generated by "atmospheric rivers,'' narrow corridors of concentrated moisture that dump massive quantities of Pacific Ocean water on California after carrying it through the air from as far away as Hawaii.

Dramatic wind gusts reported

The rains have saturated the once-drought-stricken region but have created chaos for residents hit hard by the storms.

The National Weather Service reported dramatic gusts high in the Sierra Nevada mountains, including 320 kilometers per hour at Alpine Meadows.

Widespread power outages were reported around Lake Tahoe Tuesday as a fierce snowstorm hit the area.

For the first time in 20 years, the spillway gates of the Don Pedro Reservoir were opened Monday after more than 20 centimeters of rain fell in a 48-hour period.

Storm system weakens

The storm system began to weaken Tuesday and dry weather was expected to return to the region on Wednesday.

The water level continued to fall at Oroville Lake, where a damaged spillway of one the nation's largest dams raised major flood concerns a week ago and prompted the temporary evacuation of 188,000 people in communities downstream from the lake.

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