In response to the severe Southern California atmospheric river storms, Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in eight counties. This decision came due to the devastating effects of the second and more potent atmospheric river storm sweeping across the region.

The counties under this declaration include Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties.

The state of emergency facilitates the mobilization of state resources and activates the State Operations Center to its highest level. This move is aimed at combating the potential risks and managing the existing effects of severe weather conditions.

The storms have already caused widespread flooding, power outages, and property damage. They have also heightened the risk of flash floods and mudslides, particularly in areas recently affected by wildfires. The declaration comes as Los Angeles faces a rare high-risk of flash flooding, further emphasizing the severity of the weather situation.

Flood watches are in effect in these areas. Evacuation warnings and orders are announced in communities near burn scars and flood-and-slide-prone areas.

In preparation for the continuing winter storms, the state has mobilized 8,500 personnel, including first responders, utility crews, and emergency management personnel. These teams are on standby, ready to provide rescue operations, restore power, and aid in other necessary services promptly.

“California: this is a serious storm with dangerous and potentially life-threatening impacts. Please pay attention to any emergency orders or alerts from local officials” the governor  announced. “California is ready with a record number of emergency assets on the ground to respond to the impacts of this storm.”

Newsom’s office issued the state of emergency after the National Weather Service warned of an unprecedented and life-threatening situation due to the heavy rainfall. The situation continues to evolve as the storms progress, with the governor’s office actively monitoring the situation and prepared to provide additional aid if required.

Residents are urged to stay informed about the latest weather updates and follow the instructions from local authorities. It is crucial to take all necessary precautions to ensure personal safety and minimize property damage during this challenging time.

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