1 dead in California flooding after storm soaks San Francisco, causes power outages

LANDSLIDES, FLOODING, SNOW: California sees intense storm

Crews worked to rescue stranded drivers and reopen flooded roadways as the new year began after an intense storm system caused power outages, landslides and flooding in portions of California.

More than 100,000 people were without power in the state on Sunday afternoon, according to poweroutage.us. In Sacramento County, dozens of people trapped in partially or completely submerged vehicles have been rescued, according to Dan Quiggle, deputy fire chief of the Cosumnes Fire Department.

Quiggle said one person was found dead inside a submerged vehicle at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Previously, a person was reported missing who was suspected of being swept off a roadway.

The storm wasn't the only natural phenomenon plaguing Northern California on Sunday. About 200 miles northwest of Sacramento, a magnitude 5.4 earthquake closed a bridge while crews conducted safety inspections.

California storm creates hazardous travel

Dozens of drivers also had to be rescued along snow-covered Interstate 80 near Lake Tahoe on New Year's Eve, and the route to the mountains from the San Francisco Bay Area reopened to passenger vehicles with chains Sunday morning. In some areas of the state, roads are still impassable due to flooding or snow.

"For many areas of the state, flooding and snow closures still exist," the California Department of Transportation said Sunday.


A flash flood warning was extended in Sacramento County along the Cosumnes River on Sunday and Highway 99 remained closed. The Sacramento Bee reported two levee breaches after Sacramento County officials said a levee failure was "imminent" and urged nearby residents to seek higher ground Sunday.

Atmospheric river soaks San Francisco

The storms were the result of an atmospheric river of moisture — a long and wide plume of moisture pulled in from the Pacific.

LANDSLIDES, FLOODING, SNOW:California sees intense storm

More than 4 feet of snow had accumulated in the high Sierra Nevada, and in downtown San Francisco, rainfall hit 5.46 inches on New Year’s Eve, making it the second-wettest day on record. In the state's capital, nearly 35,000 people were still without power as of noon Sunday, down from 150,000 the day before.

This image taken Saturday, Dec 31, 2022 and released by California Highway Patrol Truckee, vehicles stranded are stranded along Interstate 80 at the Nevada State line and Colfax, Calif. Driving conditions are dangerous and treacherous, travel is not advised. There are dozens and dozens of vehicles stuck on the freeway and county roads, and we are responding to calls as Calif. California was drying out and digging out on New Year's Day after a powerful storm brought drenching rain or heavy snowfall to much of the state, snarling traffic and closing highways. (California Highway Patrol Truckee via AP) ORG XMIT: LA704

Magnitude 5.4 earthquake near Eureka

Meanwhile, a magnitude 5.4 earthquake was recorded Sunday morning at about 10:35 near Eureka, in an area that was already recovering from a 6.4 quake on Dec. 20, killing two, injuring at least 17 and significantly damaging buildings in Humboldt County.

Officials said State Route 211 at Fernbridge is closed as they assess any structural damage to a bridge from Sunday's earthquake.