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HomeAus & NZEvacuations ordered in California as deadly storm slams into coast

Evacuations ordered in California as deadly storm slams into coast

'Quick read' news summary

Heavy rain and powerful winds are pounding the northern California coast and forecasters have warned people to expect more flooding and mudslides.

The powerful storm system known as a bomb cyclone has killed at least two people, including a toddler who died when a redwood tree fell on his home.

California has been under a state of emergency since Wednesday. Over 160,000 home and businesses have lost power.

Officials said the rain was falling on ground already soaked by past rainfall.

Much of the state has been hit by atmospheric rivers – an airborne current carrying dense moisture from the ocean – bringing heavy rain to low-lying areas, powerful winds to San Francisco and snow to the Sierra Nevada mountains.

The National Weather Service said California would continue to be impacted by atmospheric river conditions through Thursday (local time), “with heavy to excessive rainfall, flooding with debris flows and landslides near recent burn scar areas, heavy mountain snow and high winds.”

Evacuation orders and advisories were in place in parts of northern California. Local authorities have warned of threats to life and property, especially around San Francisco and Sacramento.

A toddler died in Sonoma County north of San Francisco when a tree fell on his home on Wednesday evening.

Chief Ronald Lunardi of the Occidental Volunteer Fire Department said the child was between one and two years old. The child’s parents were in the home but were unharmed.

A 19-year-old woman also died in a nearby county after her car slid on a flooded road and crashed into a light pole, according to reports.

Bars and restaurants closed in San Francisco and nearby communities on Wednesday, as officials have cautioned against driving on the roads. Over 100 flights have been

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