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Next Bay Area storm to ‘pack a punch,’ more flooding expected

San Francisco Public Works employees clean up fallen trees at Dolores Park in San Francisco during the atmospheric river storm on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. | Camille Cohen/The Standard | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

State officials are urging caution and common sense with another round of Bay Area storms starting late Sunday night expected to wreak significant havoc.

While storms will be part of the picture for several more days, the one headed to the Bay Area on Monday and Tuesday will “pack a punch,” the National Weather Service tweeted on Sunday. 

Moderate to heavy rain will arrive after 10 p.m. on Sunday with gusts of wind traveling at 30-60 mph, according to the National Weather Service. Heavy rain and wind is expected to continue on Monday and weaken by Tuesday. Flooding, however, is expected to continue after that and persist with additional storms.

“We expect to see the worst of it in front of us still,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom at a press conference on Sunday afternoon. “Don’t test fate. Half a foot of water, and you’re losing control of your car. Just a foot of water, and your car’s floating.”

State officials told residents to remain home if possible and to limit unnecessary travel. They warned pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to steer clear of flooded areas and downed power lines or trees. 

A flood watch is already in effect for the region through Tuesday, which would upgrade to a warning if flooding occurs or becomes imminent. A high wind warning begins Sunday night at 8 p.m. until Monday at 4 p.m. 

In San Francisco, the wind advisory ended at 10 a.m. Monday. 

Sacramento residents woke up on Sunday to storm damage and hundreds of thousands of residents without power due to intense winds overnight. A fallen tree fatally struck one woman on Saturday night, CapRadio reported. Additional fallen trees smashed into homes and cars.

About 12 people have died in the last 10 days due to the storms, Newsom added. 

Newsom declared a state of emergency last Wednesday and expects the White House to approve a disaster declaration to tap emergency funds through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  

The break between the bomb cyclone of last week and the next three atmospheric rivers had weather officials advising people to use Sunday to prepare. That includes preparing an emergency kit, packing water and food should you get stuck in your car, digging up insurance policies for quick reference, gathering necessary medication and having a working flashlight. 

Other safety tips include stocking up on sandbags—which San Francisco provides to residents—if in an area that floods, avoiding driving during heavy rain and winds, turning off appliances if the power goes out, and checking on friends, family and neighbors who may need assistance. 

At one point during the storm last Wednesday and Thursday, about 3,000 households in San Francisco lost power, including some for over a day. Multiple downed trees and floods blocked drivers from accessing roads as public transit faced delays.  

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