Lightning struck the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on Saturday as heavy rains continued to pound California, bringing flooding, landslides, and evacuations to many residents — with threats of more to come.
The National Weather Service confirmed the lightning strike, faintly visible through a distant webcam:
Check out the lightning strike which hit the Golden Gate Bridge earlier this evening around 4:42 pm courtesy of the Mersea Webcam! Remember, when thunder roars – go indoors! 🌉⚡ #cawx pic.twitter.com/5JGIXgabyZ
— NWS Bay Area 🌉 (@NWSBayArea) January 15, 2023
The San Francisco Chronicle reported:
Most of the Bay Area received up to 1.5 inches of precipitation during a 24-hour period ending at 4 p.m., the according to the National Weather Service. San Francisco and San Jose got under an inch, while Richmond and Oakland saw about 1.5 inches.
Mining Ridge, a mountain located in Monterey County, received an astounding 8 inches of rainfall, the most of any area in California during the 24-hour-period.
The National Weather Service tweeted at 6:44 p.m. that it was “not over yet.” Radar showed that showers and thunderstorms were still moving throughout the region. “Brief heavy rain, small hail and gust winds will be possible,” the tweet read.
The rain is just the latest “atmospheric river” storm to hit the state, bringing much-needed relief from an ongoing drought, but also dangerous conditions that have killed nearly two dozen people and caused widespread damage.
The Associated Press reported:
Flood warnings were issued for the region north of San Francisco Bay, including Marin, Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties.
To the south, warnings were posted for parts of counties including San Mateo and Santa Cruz, where the tiny community of Felton Grove along the San Lorenzo River was ordered evacuated. An evacuation order also was issued for residents of the Wilton area in semirural southeastern Sacramento County. Authorities cited the threat of flooding from the Cosumnes River.
The swollen Salinas River swamped farmland in Monterey County, and to the east, flood warnings were in effect for Merced County in the agricultural Central Valley, where Gov. Gavin Newsom visited to take stock of storm problems.
For some, the weather has been a boon. Surfers, for example, have enjoyed the unusually high swells along the coast — some so strong that they pushed waves into the San Francisco Bay.
In Los Angeles, rain began Saturday morning and is expected to continue through the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Monday.
In the mountainous Sierra Nevada, the storms have dumped several feet of snow on ski resorts, delighting travelers but making roads hazardous and causing fears of avalanches.
President Joe Biden declared a disaster, freeing up federal funding to be directed to relief efforts in the state.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.</em
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