As deadly storms continued to rage across California, thousands of people were forced to leave Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s neighborhood.
All 15 zones of the Montecito neighborhood, where celebrities like Oprah Winfrey reside, as well as the nearby canyons, are now under an evacuation order.
At least 12 people have died as a result of the severe storms battering California, which have also severely damaged the coastline due to floods and mudslides and obstructed traffic with fallen objects.
Some schools had to shut down for the day because of fallen trees, and thousands of people are still without electricity.
The National Weather Service issued a warning about a “relentless parade of atmospheric rivers,” which are protracted moisture plumes that extend into the Pacific and have the potential to produce very heavy rain and snowfall.
On the fifth anniversary of a terrifying mudslide that killed 23 people and damaged over 100 houses in the coastal town of Montecito, residents in that area have been forced to evacuate.
Following storms last week that flooded streets, damaged the shoreline, and knocked out electricity to thousands, severe rains are forecast over the next few days.
After Harry and Meghan sensationally resigned from their roles as working members of the Royal Family in 2020, they relocated to a million-dollar property in Montecito.
Additionally, they just finished recording their Netflix documentary series at a $33 million house that is only a short drive from their Montecito home.
Sheriff Bill Brown of Santa Barbara County said that the decision to evacuate roughly 10,000 residents in the area was “based on the continuing high rate of rainfall with no indication that it is going to change before nightfall.”
He noted that numerous roads were flooded and creeks were overflowing.
The National Weather Service said that up to eight inches of rain might fall in as little as 12 hours, and that several additional inches of rain could fall before the storm leaves the area.
After the San Lorenzo river, which flows through the region, was deemed to be near flood level, evacuation orders were also issued for an additional 32,000 individuals further up the coast in Santa Cruz County, according to Melodye Serino, the deputy county administrative officer.
Highway 17, a crucial but winding road into Santa Cruz from the San Francisco Bay Area, was one of three important Santa Cruz routes cut off by the flood water and mudslides.
Monday morning, the rain-swollen river also rushed into the small neighborhood of Felton, where people are now being rescued from the water.
Even though the situation is bad, people have stayed calm and positive.
Customers without power in their houses received complimentary coffee from Rocky’s Cafe owner Christine Patracuola on Monday. Due to obstructed highways, including a bridge across the San Lorenzo, her crew was unable to enter the building.
“A little coffee can’t hurt anybody,” she said as cited by Associated Press. “You can’t really change Mother Nature; you just have to roll with the punches and hope you don’t get swept up into it.”
Nicole Martin, the third-generation owner of the Fern River Resort in Felton, said on Monday that her guests had been sipping coffee and “enjoying the show” from their cabin porches as picnic tables and other trash floated down the swollen San Lorenzo.
Martin noted that the river was just 12 feet below the cottages, up from its normal depth of 60 feet.
She stocked up on 8,000 pounds of sandbags, set up the generators, and distributed lights to visitors who chose to stay in their cabins during the storms as storm preparation.
Several school districts in Northern California shut down their schools.
According to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, 350,000 people in Sacramento were left without power on Sunday when 60 mph winds knocked trees onto power wires. 35,000 of those customers are still without power as of this writing.
In order to boost storm response and relief operations in more than a dozen counties, including Sacramento, Santa Cruz, and Los Angeles, President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration for California.
Governor Gavin Newsom of California said that in the last 10 days, 12 people have died because of bad weather. He cautioned people to remain indoors since the storms this week might be significantly more deadly.
A flood watch was issued by the weather service for a sizable part of Northern and Central California.
It was predicted that the foothills around Sacramento would get another six to twelve inches of rain through Wednesday.
In the foothills of Los Angeles, there was also a chance of eight inches of rain late Monday and Tuesday.
The Eastern Sierra Nevada ski resort Mammoth Mountain had an incredible 10 feet of snow, while San Francisco has seen more than 10 inches of rain since December 26.
Even if the storms have helped, they won’t be enough to call the drought in California over.
The University of California, Los Angeles climate scientist Daniel Swain anticipated that the rain would stop after January 18.
“That is my best guess right now, which is good because it will give the rivers in Northern California, and now in Central California, a chance to come down,” he commented.
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