New storm brings risk of blizzard to Northern California

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Another Pacific storm was set to hit California yesterday, bringing a threat of mudslides to the site of the deadliest wildfire in state history and a rare blizzard warning in the Sierra Nevada.

An evacuation warning was in place into this morning for Pulga, a canyon community in Northern California. Its neighbour, the town of Paradise, was virtually incinerated two months ago by the Camp Fire that killed 86 people and destroyed nearly 15,000 homes.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for the county beginning late yesterday afternoon.

“If flooding occurs, this can quickly become a dangerous and life-threatening situation,” the Butte County Sheriff’s Office warned.

The north could see the strongest storm of the year with heavy rain in the San Francisco Bay Area leading to a widespread flash flood watch beginning in the afternoon. Flood and high wind watches were scheduled for the Sacramento area, with the weather service warning that gusts could lead to power outages, downed trees and tough driving conditions.

A blizzard warning for much of the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe was set to go into effect last night, with meteorologists predicting as much of 1.5 metres of snow in upper elevations and wind gusts of up to 100 mph on ridgetops.

Dangerous and potentially life-threatening conditions were expected at elevations above 7,000 feet, with high avalanche danger throughout the region.