Caltrans Responds as Atmospheric River Continues to Torment California

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utility poles lie across SR 132 Modesto California
Forty-one utility poles were downed Sunday during heavy winds near Modesto, California, across State Road 132, according to the California Highway Patrol's Modesto district.
California Highway Patrol - Modesto

California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for eight counties in Southern California as first responders, transportation workers and other state and local agencies have been positioned to respond to damage from flooding, high winds and heavy snow through Monday.

The proclamation is the result of a slow-moving atmospheric river that has led to multiple warnings for winter storms, flash flooding and high winds. It covers these counties: Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura.

Caltrans Director Tony Tavares told CNN Sunday that his agency is coordinating across multiple state and local agencies to respond to the storm, as well as prepositioned more than 4,000 personnel and 1,200 pieces of equipment. The state has prepositioned 7 million sandbags. Emergency teams, including those trained for swift water rescue, are also on standby.

AccuWeather reports that the slow-moving atmospheric river has dumped 9 to 10 inches of rain in some places over the weekend, flooding roads and low-lying neighborhoods. Downtown Los Angeles saw 4.1 inches of rain Sunday, the most on one day since at least 2004, AccuWeather reports. The city got hit with another 2 inches of rain since Sunday.

More rain is expected throughout Monday, especially for Southern California.

According to CNN, more than 14 million people across Southern California potentially face excessive rainfall. Such excessive rain has also been leading to landslides, especially in areas where wildfires have destroyed trees and vegetation that help prevent erosion. The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch that could affect as many as 40 million people.