A convergence of strong Pacific storms – a “bomb cyclone” and an “atmospheric river” – triggered floods, mudflows and wind damage in California on 24 October. The storm also affected parts of Washington state and Oregon. Wind damage caused power outages affecting 400,000 people. Two people were killed when a tree fell on a vehicle near Preston, Washington.
As of 25 October parts of northern California were worst affected by the heavy rain. National Weather Service (NWS) Bay Area said downtown San Francisco saw its fourth wettest day ever, with 4.02″ / 102 mm of rain falling on 24 October, 2021.
Tallying our climate numbers. Looks like 4.02 inches of rain for the calendar day in downtown SF. By far the wettest Oct day ever (old record 2.48 inches 10/13/09). 4th Wettest day EVER in SF with records back to Gold Rush. #AtmosphericRiver pic.twitter.com/JwlmhviJOC
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) October 25, 2021

Flooding was reported across the San Francisco Bay Area, including in Berkeley and Oakland. Swollen rivers caused flooding in Napa and Sonoma counties. Some homes were evacuated in Santa Rosa, Sonoma county, after several creeks broke their banks.
Landslides blocked a stretch of Highway 70 in Butte and Plumas counties after rain fell in areas of the Dixie Fire burn scar. Sections of Highways 16 and 20 were closed in due to mudslides in Colusa and Yolo counties.
Evacuation warnings or orders were issued in burn scar areas of parts of Fresno, San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara counties.
NWS Bay Area said the impact of the atmospheric river is edging southwards and, as of early 25 October was beginning to impact Monterey County.
Here’s a look at a few SR areas impacted by the storm. Thanks to residents for reporting many critical issues, and THANK YOU to our hard-working city crews & public safety personnel who responded all day! Storm info: https://t.co/LQetAF3l4b pic.twitter.com/rwmHAWSmT7
— Santa Rosa Fire Department (@SantaRosaFire) October 25, 2021

Multiple creeks and streets flooding throughout Santa Rosa. Avoid unnecessary travel. | Múltiples arroyos y calles inundadas a través de Santa Rosa. Evite viajes innecesarios. https://t.co/xQ5ELqKU4A pic.twitter.com/5cKzmkmvZm
— Santa Rosa Fire Department (@SantaRosaFire) October 24, 2021

📡 Radar Update at 1:45 AM – #atmosphericriver continues to inch southward. Heaviest band of rainfall is now beginning to impact Monterey County. #cawx pic.twitter.com/nWy6nMqT9A
— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) October 25, 2021

Richard Davies is the founder of floodlist.com and reports on flooding news, flood insurance, protection and defence issues.

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