California declares state of emergency as powerful storm approaches

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Thursday, January 5, 2023
California declares state of emergency as powerful storm approaches
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A state of emergency was issued by Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday as another round of winter weather sweeps through the state.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A state of emergency was issued by Governor Gavin Newsom on Wednesday as another round of winter weather sweeps through the state.

During a press conference at the state's office of emergency services, California officials warned of the impacts that a series of storms will likely bring for the next 7 to 10 days.

The storm could bring flooding, mudslides, and power outages.

"We anticipate that this might be one of the most challenging and impactful series of storms to touch down in California in the last 5 years," said Nancy Ward with the Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

RELATED: Where to get sandbags in the Valley ahead of winter storm

The storm is expected to cause extreme flood conditions during a time of extreme drought, which officials say can be dangerous.

"A lot of our trees are stressed after three years of intensive drought, the ground is saturated and there is a significant chance of downed trees that will create significant problems potentially flooding problems, potentially power problems," said Karla Nemeth, the director of California Department of Water Resources.

While the state prepares for this storm, communities are still dealing with damage from the last one, including the levee breech in Sacramento county that flooded and shut down part of Highway 99.

"Sacramento county is out in that area today working to close that breach and impact or protect the local area for coming storms," said Wade Crowfoot, the secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency.

The worst flooding is expected along the coast. Extra attention is also being focused on areas that have recently burned.

In Fresno County, officials are paying close attention to the areas where the 2020 Creek Fire tore through.

RELATED: Merced County braces for storm, Emergency Operations Center activated

"So, if you are in an area that has burned recently, again, we urge you to stay connected with your county OES these kinds of events can trigger mudslides and significant debris flow," said Nemeth.

The recent rain has caused erosion to already begin on Auberry Road. It will remain closed for two weeks while crews work on repair.

Officials urge people to evacuate immediately if you are ordered to do so. Otherwise, the safest place to be during this storm is at home.

"So, have those those candles in the flashlights charge the cell phones be ready for extended power outages," said Crowfoot.

You can sign up for emergency alerts in Fresno County by clicking here.