California governor declares state of emergency as heavy rain, winds batter Southern California

(Xinhua) 10:23, February 06, 2024

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- California Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency for several counties in Southern California on Sunday as a series of winter storms began impacting much of the state with high winds, damaging rain and heavy snowfall.

The proclamation covers eight counties -- Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

The emergency proclamation includes provisions authorizing a California National Guard response if tasked, facilitating unemployment benefits for impacted residents, and making it easier for out-of-state contractors and utilities to repair storm damage, according to Newsom's office.

"California is ready with a record number of emergency assets on the ground to respond to the impacts of this storm," Newsom said in a release.

More than 790,000 customers in California are experiencing power outages as of Sunday night, according to PowerOutages.us.

The U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) issued a rare hurricane-force wind warning for the Central Coast.

"Additional areas of heavy rainfall are expected in the Central and Northern CA Coastal Ranges and the Central Valley going through the evening and into the overnight hours," said NWS.

A flash flood warning is in effect for parts of the Southern and Central coast, including areas in Los Angeles, where officials warned of one of the "most dramatic weather days in recent memory."

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


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