Storm Batters Northern California—Piers Collapse Amid Widespread Flooding



A “brutal” storm system battered northern California this week, killing at least two people and causing significant flooding and erosion, as a band of heavy rain and wind gusts upwards of 100 mph tore through the state—and more rain is on the way.

Key Facts

Nearly 60,000 California homes and businesses remain without power Friday morning, according to, down from the nearly 200,000 that lacked electricity in the immediate aftermath of the storm on Thursday.

In northern California, a child under two years old died when a tree collapsed on a house, while a 19-year-old was killed after her car hydroplaned into a utility pole, raising the death toll from recent storms in the state to six, after four were killed in a New Year’s Eve storm.

Flooding was especially bad in Santa Cruz County, where a wharf in the coastal town of Capitola was split in half by pounding waves, as a band of rain called an “atmospheric river” combined with a sudden drop in low pressure referred to as a “bomb cyclone.”

Another pier collapsed at Seacliff State Beach in Santa Cruz County, where waves reportedly reached 35 feet—much of northern California remains in a flood watch, with high surf advisories along the coast, according to the National Weather Service.

What To Watch For

The next storm. The National Weather Service predicts a round of “excessive rainfall” to move into northern California Friday night and slowly make its way southward this weekend. The storm could bring upwards of six inches of rain in northern California, which could “exacerbate flooding concerns over already saturated soil,” the NWS warned.

Further Reading

At Least Two Dead And Nearly 180,000 Without Power In California ‘Brutal System’ (Forbes)

‘Brutal System’ Will Unleash Flooding And Possible Mudslides In California, Forecasters Warn (Forbes)



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