Atmospheric river hits portions of California, compounding weather woes

California took another hit from inclement weather as a so-called “atmospheric river" brought torrents of rain and more snow. Stephanie Sy reports on how the weather is adding to the state's weather woes after a series of extreme storms.

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  • Geoff Bennett:

    In the day's other headlines: California took another hit from the heavens, as a so-called atmospheric river brought torrents of rain and more snow.

    Stephanie Sy reports, it's adding to the states weather woes after a series of extreme storms.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Hours of rain since last night have caused overflowing waterways to wash out roads.

    The downpours have filled freeways around the San Francisco Bay Area. And 34 counties across the state are now under a state of emergency. Piles of mud still line the streets of this neighborhood in Felton. It's been battered repeatedly by storms since the start of the year.

  • Tom Fredericks, California Resident:

    I'm past the burnout part. I'm in the acceptance part.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Tom Fredericks had just gotten through cleaning up from the last series of storms.

  • Tom Fredericks:

    We have been working every week, every week, when we can since then. And it's just starting right now to feel like it was before the storms. So, this is kind of discouraging to be facing it all over again.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    In Southern California, there are concerns new rain could melt tons of snow from previous winter storms and trigger catastrophic flooding.

    And evacuation warnings have been issued, including in Merced County in the central part of the state. Just two weeks ago, people had to be rescued there.

  • Chris Krzanich, California Resident:

    I don't want to go through this again. After being rescued at 1:30 in the morning on a flatbed trailer with a backhoe pushing cars out of the way, and, yes, we're not going through that again. So we will be leaving early if it is going to look bad.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    In parts of the state with massive snow accumulations, the risk of roof collapses is rising, as up to eight feet of new snow is predicted in high elevations.

    Kim George is the battalion chief for the South Lake Tahoe Fire Department.

  • Kim George, South Lake Tahoe, California, Fire Department:

    Some of these shaded neighborhoods have probably eight, 10 feet in the city, and the county areas even more so.

    With all of the snow load and the amount of weight that's sitting on roofs, we have pretty significant concern coming up with roof snow load with all the rain.

  • Craig Griesbach, Emergency Services Director, Nevada County, California:

    I think this is day 15, essentially been working 24/7 with all hands on deck.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Craig Griesbach is director of emergency services for Nevada County, California, where new weather alerts are now up.

  • Craig Griesbach:

    We have a very old, older demographic. So there's definitely an area of need here more than more than other places. So that goes to mail. Pretty much anything of daily service has been hampered, including trash service as well.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Meanwhile, Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains will remain closed through next Thursday. Over the past two weeks, parts of the iconic park were buried 15 feet deep in snow.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Stephanie Sy.

  • Geoff Bennett:

    Forecasters are calling for yet another major storm in California early next week.

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