Millions of Californians are bracing for what weather experts are calling a "truly brutal" storm. Another super soaker of a system is heading to the Golden State today as last week's storm now drifts across the Midwest. The weather will be especially dangerous and possibly deadly in the Sacramento region, where heavy rain could trigger brutal flooding and mudslides, with winds strong enough to knock down trees and power poles. Pacific Gas & Electric and Sacramento Municipal Utility District crews are preparing for power outages during the storm. SMUD officials said power restoration can be delayed because of high winds and flooding that can prevent crews from safely working. PG&E officials say they will have hundreds of people working to respond to outages. Winds are expected to reach 35 mph with gusts up to 55 mph. Sacramento County is also closing all their parks because of possible tree hazards from the upcoming storm. The most common bicycle routes like the American River Multi-Use and Dry Creek Parkway trails will also be closed. California Governor Gavin Newsom is declaring a state of emergency ahead of the huge storm to help allocate resources to the impacted counties.
The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center expects a bomb cyclone to hit Sacramento today, with forecasters warning that up to 10 inches of rain could drench coastal mountain ranges. The Weather Service has issued an excessive rainfall warning for about 5-million people across Northern and Central California. Forecasters expect widespread flooding at lower elevations and heavy snows and strong winds across the Sierra Nevada mountains that could make travel treacherous. The southern part of the state won't be hit quite so hard, but will still see up to three inches of rain, possible flooding and dangerously high waves at the beaches. The Flood Operations Center has been activated for the first time since 2019. It's helping residents get sandbags and other supplies. Crews have been watching a flood system of 1,600 miles of levees since the severe weather began last week. Equipment is set up at 38 locations for rapid deployment and levee inspectors are fanned out across the state.