The state’s resources will be made available to support the disaster response and relief after Wednesday’s emergency declaration in the counties of Amador, Kern, Los Angeles, Madera, Mariposa, Mono, Nevada, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sierra, Sonoma, and Tulare. In order to be prepared to support the operations, the governor also activated the California National Guard.
Over the last week, the West Coast was hit by a string of severe winter storms that buried Southern California’s mountain communities under mountains of snow and left hundreds of inhabitants stranded. Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains and Mount Baldy in the San Gabriel Mountains, both in California’s San Bernardino County, accumulated 106 inches of snow. Since Saturday, Soda Springs in California’s Nevada County has received 114 inches of snow, or 9.5 feet.
Over the past week, Palisade Tahoe ski resort in California’s Placer County in the Sierra Nevada mountain range got a whopping 146 inches snow, or more than 12 feet. That brings the cumulative total for the season to 500 inches, or nearly 42 feet, making it the snowiest October through February period since 1970. Palisade Tahoe, the largest skiing complex in the Lake Tahoe region, was shut down on Tuesday due to the amount of snowfall. Other ski resorts in the area have also had to temporarily close.
The latest storm system to hit the West Coast has since moved out of the region and is forecast to bring severe weather across the South on Thursday. More than 90 million people across 36 states were on alert for heavy now, avalanches, flash flooding, strong winds intense tornadoes. The cities of Dallas, Texas; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Little Rock, Arkansas, were in the storm’s forecasted path for Thursday.
Meanwhile, heavy rain could trigger flash flooding from Oklahoma to Ohio, with local rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches.
The same system could also bring the biggest snowstorm of the season to Chicago on Friday. The city in Illinois could get more than 6 inches of snow.
The snowstorm is forecast to spread into the Northeast on Friday evening, bringing a wintry mix from New York City to Boston, with heavy snow more inland from upstate New York to Maine. Locally, parts of the inland Northeast could see more than 6 inches of snow.