SoCal Soaked: Floods Wreak Havoc Ahead of Holidays

Floods Wreak. Okay, picture this: Southern California’s getting slammed by an atmospheric river, pouring buckets of rain and causing chaos right before the big holiday weekend.

Downpour Drama

This atmospheric river’s no joke—it’s drenched parts of SoCal with over 4 inches of rain since Tuesday night, and it’s not easing up. The rain’s coming down hard, like 2 inches per hour hard, and that’s sparking flash floods left and right, as per the National Weather Service.

Evacuations and Chaos

Ventura County’s feeling the brunt of it. Floods hit early Thursday, leading to evacuations for parts of the area till Friday noon. Oxnard, the county’s main city, got slammed with more than 2.5 inches in just a few hours, a rare event that happens like once every 500 years. About 60 homes got hit by floods, and the county’s fire department went into overdrive—275 calls in five hours when they usually get around 190 in a whole day!

Rescue Mode

The fire crews had their hands full. They had to prioritize calls, handling about 90 emergencies at one point! Roads turned into rivers, trapping cars and needing a dozen swift water rescues. Santa Barbara wasn’t spared either, with roads underwater and ramps to Highway 101 closed due to flooding.

Rain Rain, Go Away?

SoCal’s not catching a break. There’s more rain on the way—like 2 to 5 more inches across most areas, and up to 10 inches in some spots. Flood watches are up for cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Palm Springs. The weather service isn’t messing around—they’re warning of life-threatening flooding, mudslides, and debris flows, especially in areas hit by recent wildfires.

The Risk Factor

It’s not just any rain—it’s a moderate risk for excessive rainfall, a Level 3 out of 4, hitting areas like Santa Barbara and LA. Thunder’s rumbling in the mix, but we’re hoping it won’t turn into severe storms.

Twists and Turns

To add a bit more spice, there was a small tornado in Northern California earlier this week. Yep, a tornado in December! Oroville got a visit from an EF-1 twister, causing some damage but thankfully no injuries or deaths. That’s a pretty rare sight for California this time of year.

Across the Country

While SoCal’s dealing with the deluge, the Northeast’s getting its fair share of trouble too. Torrential rain’s been causing chaos, with more than 130,000 folks in Maine left without power since Monday. And it’s getting cold! Freezing temperatures are making things tougher for those without electricity.

Maine’s Battle

The big concern? The cold making life harder for those without power for days now. Strong winds aren’t helping either, slowing down power restoration efforts. Downed trees and power lines have left many roads closed, making it a bit of a mess.

So, it’s a weather rollercoaster—SoCal’s soaked, the Northeast’s freezing, and Mother Nature’s putting on quite a show before the holiday rush.