Californians have been warned to brace for more devastating storms, as a succession of atmospheric rivers continue to pour torrents of rain and floodwaters across the already battered state.

The National Weather Service cautioned that the west coast ‘remains under the target of a relentless parade of cyclones,’ after severe rain and wind have already left at least 12 people dead over the past 10 days.

At least 100,000 Californians were without power Sunday night, with some counties ordering evacuations over ‘imminent’ flooding and wind gusts expected to reach up to 60 miles-per-hour.

Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency last week, and weather services say much of California could face risks of ‘significant’ flooding until the storms abate around the middle of the week.

Authorities fear the dangers residents face will be compounded by the frequency with which each storm has and will continue to follow the previous. 

Without time for cleanup and damage mitigation between bouts of rain, sleet, snow, and wind, problems could build on one another increase.

‘The longevity and intensity of rain, combined with the cumulative effect of successive heavy rain events dating back to the end of December, will lead to widespread and potentially significant flood impacts,’ said the Weather Prediction Center on Sunday.

‘Numerous flash flooding events likely, some possibly significant, especially over burn scars,’ the Center added, noting that terrain altered by the regions recent forest fires could amplify problems.

Last week a roadway washed out by floodwaters in California after the state's recent flooding

Last week a roadway washed out by floodwaters in California after the state’s recent flooding

On Wednesday, cars crashed through huge puddles of water from California's ongoing severe storms

On Wednesday, cars crashed through huge puddles of water from California’s ongoing severe storms

The National Weather Service said the terrain has become so inundated by rain and in previous days that it is vulnerable to increasingly dangerous conditions as more rain falls.

‘While some of the forecast rain totals are impressive alone, it is important to note that what really sets this event apart are the antecedent conditions,’ the NWS advised. 

Multiple systems over the past week have saturated soil, increased flow in rivers and streams, and truly set the stage for this to become a high impact event.’

Up to 12 inches of rain could fall in many parts of California between now and Wednesday, coming across two successive and prolonged storms.

‘Tuesday is probably the day where you’ll likely need to keep a really close eye on the weather as the potential for widespread flooding of rivers, creeks, streams and roadway and urban flooding will be at its highest during the next week as all the runoff and heavy precipitation comes together resulting in a mess,’ said Sacramento’s weather service office.

On Saturday, a surfer watches the large waves brought on by the storm surge

On Saturday, a surfer watches the large waves brought on by the storm surge

Over 400,000 buildings had their power finally restored Sunday, according to, after previous storms left them in the dark.

San Francisco has already begun to flood, with Department of Emergency Management Executive Director Mary Ellen Carroll saying sinkholes and mudslides have begun. 

‘We’re seeing sinkholes on our streets – a few of them. We’re seeing mudslides – nothing significant at this point,’ Carroll said, according to CNN. ‘But the more rain we get and the less time in between, we know we’re going to see more of those conditions.’

She also cautioned that the city’s underground communications infrastructure could become compromised.

‘As we get more inundation from the rain, we’re seeing more failure around those, what we call lifeline systems,’ she said. 

Residents in Sacramento County were warned to evacuate ahead of in preparation for flooding.  

‘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,’ Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services said.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner also issued an evacuation warning, advising them to prepare in advance for sudden flight.

‘If possible, consider moving prior to the start of the weather system,’ the warning said.

And in the Central Valley, Stockton public schools are closed Monday over ‘extreme weather conditions.’ Numerous other schools across the state have followed suit.

Photos from the deluge showed massive waves crashing on the California coastline, and trees toppled across streets and lawns.

Roadways have been stripped away by the coursing floodwaters, and home and business owners have piled sandbags up in front of their properties to try to deflect the running waters. 

Though the body of the storms are expected to subside by midweek, weather experts predict that things are likely to remain wet for weeks to come.

 ‘Overall, there is high confidence (60-80%) that this wetter-than-normal pattern will continue through the next couple of weeks,’ said the San Francisco weather service. ‘While we don’t have details on how much rain above normal will fall, suffice it to say that the continuation of saturated soils could continue to pose hazards into the third week of January.’

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