California storm: Santa Barbara airport closes as rain drenches state


(NEW YORK) — A flood watch is in effect from Redding in Northern California to San Diego in Southern California as a storm slams the state with rain and wind.

Two to 5 inches of rain is forecast in lower elevations, while up to 8 inches of rain is possible in California’s foothills and mountains. Wind gusts could reach 60 mph.

The Santa Barbara Airport closed Monday morning due to flooding.

Flash flooding and mudslides are ongoing Monday, and the flood watch will last through Wednesday.

At the biggest risk for flash flooding Monday is the area between Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. More than 6 inches of rain has already fallen and mudslides have closed roads.

Downtown Los Angeles needs only 3 inches of rain to have its rainiest February on record.

In Northern California, the cities of Yuba City, Sacramento and Stockton could also face heavy rain and flooding on Monday. Sacramento could even see tornadoes and hail.

In the Sierra Nevada mountains, winter storm warnings were issued as several feet of snow is expected to pile up over the next few days.

Along the coast, high surf advisories are in effect for waves up to 28 feet.

By Monday evening, the rain will let up for most of the state.

On Tuesday, more rounds of rain are possible from San Francisco to Los Angeles to San Diego, and pockets of heavy rain could cause more flooding, mudslides and rockslides.

The rain will move out on Wednesday, but heavy snow will continue in the mountains.


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