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California, disaster zone: there are 17 dead and they try to repair damage, but new storms are coming

A resident rescues a dog in Merced, California
A resident rescues a dog in Merced, California

California search this wednesday clean up the mess left behind by successive storms and repair widespread damage by taking advantage of a lull in rain in many areas, although the north could have electric storms and a powerful front is expected to hit the state on Friday.

At least 17 people died in the storms so far. The figure is likely to rise, the governor said Tuesday, Gavin Newsomduring a visit to the picturesque town of Capitola, on the coast of Santa Cruz, badly affected by the surge and overflowing streams last week.

Brenda Ortega, 15, enters her flooded home in Merced, California.
Brenda Ortega, 15, enters her flooded home in Merced, California.

Among the fatalities are the driver of a pickup truck and a motorcyclist who died Tuesday after a tree struck by lightning struck them, according to authorities.

More than half of California’s 58 counties were declared as disaster zonesthe governor said.

A destroyed highway in Los Angeles, California
A destroyed highway in Los Angeles, California
Panoramic view of the city of Merced in California
Panoramic view of the city of Merced in California

The most recent storm, which began Monday, was part of a series that began late last month. Repairing the damage could cost more than 1 billion dollarsindicated Adam Smitha disaster expert with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in a report from Los Angeles Times.

Workers and volunteers rescue a dog from flooding
Workers and volunteers rescue a dog from flooding
Aerial view of Merced, California, underwater
Aerial view of Merced, California, underwater

The workers worked for reopen major highways cut by rockslides, floods or mud, while more than 10,000 people who had been ordered to leave coastal towns in the center of the state were given the green light to return home.

Among those populations was Montecito, a wealthy community in Santa Barbara County where Prince Harry and other celebrities live. Five years ago, a mudslide killed 23 people and destroyed more than 100 homes on the site.

Flooded streets in Planada, California
Flooded streets in Planada, California
In the last days it rained a lot and more storms are expected
In the last days it rained a lot and more storms are expected
Angeles Molina walks through the water in Merced, California, one of the most affected places
Angeles Molina walks through the water in Merced, California, one of the most affected places

However, thousands of people living near rain-swollen streams and rivers remained under evacuation orders. In the valley Saint Joaquinthe overflowing waters of Bear Creek flooded part of the city of Merced and neighboring Planada, a small agricultural community located along the highway that leads to Yosemite National Park.

Abraham Ayala removes water from his house
Abraham Ayala removes water from his house
A view of the community of Planada after the passage of heavy rains
A view of the community of Planada after the passage of heavy rains
A vehicle covered in water
A vehicle covered in water

The 4,000 residents of Planada were ordered to leave on Tuesday morning. There were neighborhoods under water, with cars submerged to the ceiling. Residents carried what they could salvage on their backs as they headed out into the rain.

in the county of Monterey other evacuations were ordered due to dam breaks.

Nick January walks in his totally flooded neighborhood
Nick January walks in his totally flooded neighborhood
Aerial view of Planada
Aerial view of Planada
Flooded streets after the passage of the storm in Planada
Flooded streets after the passage of the storm in Planada
A tree fell on a house due to storms in Sacramento, California
A tree fell on a house due to storms in Sacramento, California

The atmospheric river phenomenon – a long line of moisture that extends to the Pacific and can cause abundant rain and snowfall – has subsided in some areas. Light to moderate rain with a few thunderstorms was expected in Northern California on Wednesday. A stronger storm system would remain over the area from Friday through January 17.

A Pacific Gas & Electric crew member works to repair a power line, following storms in Mendocino, California
A Pacific Gas & Electric crew member works to repair a power line, following storms in Mendocino, California
Pedestrians walk around a tree that fell during a storm in downtown Sacramento, California
Pedestrians walk around a tree that fell during a storm in downtown Sacramento, California
In this image released by Caltrans District 1, crews remove multiple downed trees that cut off the 101 Freeway in Humboldt County, near Trinidad, California.
In this image released by Caltrans District 1, crews remove multiple downed trees that cut off the 101 Freeway in Humboldt County, near Trinidad, California.
Three branches block a street in Sacramento
Three branches block a street in Sacramento

Despite the rains, most of the state remained in a state of extreme or severe drought, according to the US Drought Observatory.

Although the storms could offer some local relief, they “will not solve the challenges of the drought in the long term,” he said. rick spinradNOAA administrator.

(With photos from AFP, AP and Reuters; and information from AP)

Keep reading:

Floods and landslides in California: there are 14 dead and more rains are expected
A bomb cyclone threatens California: it could cause flooding and landslides
A wave of cyclones in California left six dead and more than half a million homes without electricity

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