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The next 10 days are predicted to bring heavy rain and flooding to much of Northern California. Credit: Amir Aziz

Today is the calm before the next big storm, according to the National Weather Service’s San Francisco Bay Area office

An atmospheric river of moisture flowing from the tropics to California will bring heavy rainfall and winds ranging from 20 to 60 mph, likely causing widespread flooding and landslides. Other expected impacts include:

  • Downed trees
  • Scattered power outages
  • Property damage to structures and vehicles
  • Impassable roads
  • Heavy surf on the coast

Rain is expected to continue for at least 10 more days, increasing the threat of flooding and landslides due to the fact that the ground is already heavily saturated from December storms.

Meteorologists and public safety officials are urging people to stay home if possible on Wednesday and Thursday when the storm is at its most intense.

Over the weekend, Oakland experienced widespread flooding that blocked major roads like Webster Street, wind and rain that knocked down trees, damage that forced the Oakland Zoo to close until Jan. 17, mudslides, vehicles stranded in water, and other impacts from the last atmospheric river to cross over the state. 

Several lanes of I-580 near Keller Avenue were blocked by a downed tree Saturday, and a warehouse in West Oakland collapsed from the weight of water on its roof. Sausal Creek jumped its banks, flooding Dimond Park and other areas between the hills and the Bay. Mark Rauzon, a member of the group Friends of Sausal Creek, said that Dimond Park’s Scout Hut was flooded and some equipment damaged. The rains also swept away leaf litter and may have damaged habitat in the Sausal Creek watershed that birds and trout rely on, Rauzon wrote in an email.

Mark Rauzon documented flooding and damage done to Dimond Park during the New Year’s Eve storm. Credit: Mark Rauzon

Wednesday and Thursday’s rain and wind is expected to equal or exceed the New Year’s Eve storm. On Monday, the National Weather Service called it “truly a brutal system” with the potential to cause “loss of human life.”

Before joining The Oaklandside as News Editor, Darwin BondGraham worked with The Appeal, where he was an investigative reporter covering police and prosecutorial misconduct. He has reported on gun violence for The Guardian, and was an enterprise reporter for the East Bay Express. BondGraham's work has also appeared with KQED, ProPublica and other leading national and local outlets. He holds a doctorate in sociology from UC Santa Barbara and was the co-recipient of the George Polk Award for local reporting in 2017.