Thousands in California ordered to evacuate over threat of mudslides
The storm is the West Coast’s first significant winter storm of the season, and heavy rain and strong winds are expected in the area through Tuesday, bringing “strong potential” for flash flooding and mud in areas where wildfires recently burned through, according to Santa Barbara County officials.
Down the coast, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has issued mandatory evacuations for several neighborhoods, including Kagel Canyon, Lopez Canyon and Little Tujunga Canyon, which were all affected by the Creek fire last month. Flash flood watches are in effect from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara County, and a wind advisory is in effect for the San Francisco area, according to the National Weather Service.
High wind warnings have also been issued for parts of the Bay Area, which could experience wind gusts of up to 60 mph. Winter storm warnings are in effect for parts of the Sierra Mountains and down Southern California to the mountains of San Bernardino and San Diego counties.
The bulk of the rain in Southern California will fall early Tuesday and into the afternoon. The showers are expected to clear by Tuesday night.
Further east, a new storm system is set to bring snow, sleet and freezing rain to parts of the Midwest and East today, meteorologists said.
Despite a break from the record-setting cold, the National Weather Service has issued winter weather advisories for parts of those regions, warning that icy weather could create slippery road conditions.