On Sunday night, the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services ordered residents in unincorporated Wiltonwhich has a population of more than 6,200, to evacuate immediately.
“Flooding is imminent,” the order said. “Out of an abundance of caution, residents must leave now before roads become impassable. Rising water may spill over onto the nearest roadways and cut off access to leave the area.”
The Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services also warned of strong winds in the Wilton community, southeast of the city of Sacramento.
Santa Cruz County officials issued an evacuation warning for certain areas, noting that heavy rains and runoff were expected starting Sunday evening through Tuesday. Residents in low-lying areas were told they should be prepared to evacuate and move to higher ground.
The warnings come as California continues to grapple with deadly severe weather. At least six people have died since New Year’s weekend, including a toddler killed after a fallen redwood tree crushed a mobile home in Northern California.
More than 100,000 utility customers in California were also left without power Sunday evening after torrential downpours and high winds battered the northern part of the state.
As of early Monday morning, the number had grown to more than 111,500 utility customers without power, according to online outage tracker PowerOutage.us,
Govt. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Wednesday as California was pounded by heavy rain and snow, causing flooding across the state. The declaration allows local jurisdictions and state agencies to respond to the changing weather more quickly.
climate change has made extreme precipitation in California twice as likely, with extreme weather predicted to generate 200% to 400% of surface runoff, rainwater that cannot be absorbed by soil, by the end of the century, according to research by the UCLA environment and sustainability department.
Wade Crawford, the state secretary of natural resources, said on Sunday that January’s weather has been “supercharged by climate change.”