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Published on : Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Devastating storms continued to unleash heavy rain and snow, floods, mudslides and raging winds across western U.S., closing roads, schools and businesses and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate their homes.
At least three people have died because of the storms. About 1,300 residents have been relocated from about 400 homes in a Reno neighbourhood near the Truckee River.
A state of emergency has been declared in Nevada due to the storm, where the Nevada National Guard is deploying several vehicles as part of flood assistance efforts.
More than a foot of rain has fallen in parts of California, while two feet of snow has been recorded at Mammoth Lakes, Calif., the National Weather Service said. Flood watches and warnings remain in effect Monday afternoon for much of California.
Winds and rain also felled a famous tree in California, the historic Pioneer Cabin tree in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. The iconic tree was hollowed out in the 1880s to allow tourists to pass through it, the AP said. Cars later used the massive tunnel, but more recently it has hosted only hikers.
A wind gust of 173 mph was clocked at the Squaw Valley ski resort in the Sierra, the Weather Channel said.
Colorado was also dealing with howling winds on Monday. Wind gusts of more than 80 mph were reported in the Denver and Colorado Springs area, knocking over semi trucks and peeling off roofs.
Life-threatening flooding will continue to wallop northern and central California into the middle of the week, AccuWeather said, but should ease by the end of the week.
There is a silver lining in the storms: “The siege of storms has the potential to wipe out or greatly erase the long-term drought conditions in the region,” AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.
The foul weather is coming via a storm train of an atmospheric river, which is funneling copious moisture from the tropics directly into the western U.S. Another potent Pacific storm will approach the West Coast on Tuesday afternoon and evening, bringing another round of potentially heavy precipitation, the National Weather Service said.