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Dec 11, 2014

10:58:49 GMT--Extreme Weather - North-America - USA

EDIS Number: ST-20141211-46288-USA

Date / time: 11/12/2014 10:56:51 [UTC]

Event: Extreme Weather

Area: North-America

Country: USA

State/County: State of California

Location: [Northern California regions]

Number of Deads: N/A

Number of Injured: N/A

Number of Infected: N/A

Number of Missing: N/A

Number of Affected: N/A

Number of Evacuated: N/A

Damage level: N/A


A storm predicted to bring torrential rains and hurricane force winds pushed across parts of Northern California early Thursday, after residents stocked up on supplies, schools canceled classes, and communities prepared for possible emergencies. Moderate rain and gusty winds began hitting the area north of San Francisco late Wednesday with heavier rain expected in coming hours across the across the region, the National Weather Service said. As much as 8 inches of rain could fall on coastal mountains over a 24-hour period starting late Wednesday, the weather service said. The storm is "slowing going to be advancing toward the south through the day today," weather service meteorologist Charles Bell said early Thursday. "We're also seeing winds pick up," he said, noting gusts of up to 50 mph were hitting some buoys off the coast. Bell predicted major elements of the storm would hit the San Francisco Bay area by late morning. The storm is expected to be one of the windiest and rainiest in five years and could also cause debris slides, especially in areas affected by this year's intense and widespread wildfires. Big waves are expected along the coast. "It's a short amount of time for that amount of water," weather service forecaster Diana Henderson said. "We are anticipating some localized flooding, maybe some downed trees and downed power lines. It could have an effect on a wide range of people."

Residents rushed to buy emergency supplies, with some stores running out of water, batteries and flashlights. Some cities announced on their Twitter accounts they had no sandbags or sand left by Wednesday evening. "Sandbag locations in CH are closed. All bags and sand has been taken. All sand and bags were taken in 3hr period," the Citrus Heights Police Department tweeted Wednesday. Ski resorts in the northern Sierra Nevada could get more than 2 feet of snow. The storm is expected to later pound parts of Southern California, before a weakening system moves east through Nevada, Idaho, Arizona and New Mexico. Those states could get rain and snow, but nothing like what California is expected to experience, forecasters say. In San Francisco, where as much as 4 inches of rain was forecast, crews cleared storm drains and removed loose rocks from a hillside to prevent them from crashing down. Residents were advised to sweep up leaves and debris in front of their properties to prevent them from clogging drains. "We have crews working starting tonight in 12-hour shifts," said Rachel Gordon, a spokeswoman for San Francisco's public works agency. "It will be all hands on deck." Public schools in several Bay Area cities, including San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, and some private schools were cancelling Thursday's classes.

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