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360,000 residences, businesses without power as new storm lashes California

IANS | March 15, 2023 11:32 AM

SAN FRANCISCO: More than 360, 000 residences and businesses were without electricity in California as another atmospheric river is lashing the storm-ravaged the US state, inundating cities already flooded by the recent rain and forcing residents to flee.

Of the overall number as of Tuesday evening, the Santa Clara county accounted for over 130, 000 establishments which had no electricity, CNN reported citing PowerOutage.US.

Earlier in the day, more than 70, 000 people were under evacuation warnings and almost 17, 000 were under orders to evacuate, California Governor's Office of Emergency Services spokesperson Gustavo Ortiz told CNN.

About 30 million people across the state were under flood alerts as the 11th atmospheric river to hit the West this season slammed Northern California on Monday and lashed the central and southern parts of the state on Tuesday.

The two areas of most concern are along the central California coast between Monterey and Santa Barbara counties, as well as parts of the Sierra Nevada foothills near Fresno to Bakersfield.

The atmospheric river also brought hurricane-force wind gusts to parts of central California on Tuesday, along with widespread rainfall totals of up to 3 inches -- and nearly half a foot in some areas.

A high wind warning was in effect for almost 15 million people in the state.

The high winds also caused flight cancellations and delays at the San Francisco International Airport on Tuesday.

According to the FlightAware tracking website, there have been at least 345 delays and 38 cancellations.

Across California, 40 of the state's 58 counties were under a state of emergency.

Over 600 residents have taken refuge in 32 shelters across 13 counties, the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services said.

In the wake of the latest storm, California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in three additional counties -- Alpine, Orange and Trinity.

The state of emergency will aid the counties with "storm response and relief efforts".

This adds to the 40 counties that Newsom previously declared in a state of emergency due to the storms.

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