WINTER STORM: A car was damaged when a tree fell during the weekend rain. Matthew Hall


While more rain and snow fell during the weekend in storm-battered California, Santa Monica again escaped significant damage

While more rain and snow fell during the weekend in storm-battered California, Santa Monica again escaped significant damage.

Bands of gusty thunderstorms started Saturday in the north and spread south, with yet another atmospheric river storm following close behind Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

Several inches of rain fell throughout the state including areas that were already dealing with floods or hazardous conditions caused by past storms.

The University of California Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab tweeted Sunday morning that it received 21.5 inches of snow in 24 hours. Its snowpack of about 10 feet continued to grow as the storms waned on Monday.

A backcountry avalanche warning was issued for the central Sierra, including the greater Lake Tahoe area, through Monday.

In Southern California, winter storm warnings and advisories were in place for mountain areas, where many roads remained impassable because of mud and rock slides. Two northbound lanes of Interstate 5 near Castaic in northern Los Angeles County were closed indefinitely after a hillside collapsed.

Downtown Los Angeles set a rainfall record Saturday with 1.82 inches, the weather service said. The Santa Monica Airport reported about 1.25 inches of rain over the weekend.

Locally, the city saw little damage or flooding. Two large trees fell on 7th Street damaging several cars but officials said no one was hurt and no buildings were damaged. Emergency crews had the trees chopped and cleared by Monday morning.

Impacts have been worse in the Northern half of the state.

The California Highway Patrol rescued three people whose car slid off a rain-slicked road and ended up teetering at the edge of a cliff in the Santa Cruz Mountains on Friday. The occupants of the car “were scared for their lives and were in disbelief” when they were pulled safely from the car as the vehicle’s front end hung precariously over the cliff’s edge, the highway patrol said in a statement.

The series of storms has dumped rain and snow on California since late December, cutting power to thousands, swamping roads, unleashing debris flows, and triggering landslides.

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in the state and ordered federal aid to supplement local recovery efforts in affected areas.

At least 20 storm-related deaths have occurred, and a 5-year-old boy remained missing after being swept out of his mother’s car by floodwaters in San Luis Obispo County.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to further bolster the emergency response on Monday. The executive order includes provisions that help ensure adequate staffing for the emergency response by waiving work hour limitations for retired annuitants; support impacted residents by waiving fees to replace records such as marriage and birth certificates; and provide flexibility to help health care facilities in impacted areas remain open and support schools in Merced County impacted by flooding.

Dry days are in this week’s forecast for California starting on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Matthew Hall

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...