California declares state of emergency for winter storms

Los Angeles, Dec 31 California Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a state of emergency in the wake of recent winter storms, which caused power outages, damaged structures, uprooted trees and barricaded roads across the state.

The order said that starting from December 10, a series of winter storm systems struck the Golden State, bringing substantial precipitation, including record-breaking snowfall, damaging winds, and flooding, reports Xinhua news agency.

As the storms are continuing to impact significant portions of California, a lot of communications and other critical infrastructure were impacted, it said.

Power outage affected thousands of households and businesses, while dozens of major highways and local road were forced to closure, including primary corridors into the Tahoe Basin, a famous vacation destination in the US.

These storms also had resulted in the threat of mud and debris flows, particularly on burn scars from recent wildfires, it said, listing 20 counties that need emergent response, including Los Angeles.

In Northern California, hundreds of vehicles were trapped on key routes in mountain regions, and the state’s Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is urging people to avoid travelling to the Sierra Nevada.

Currently, Caltrans has staff in the mountains clearing roadways and is deploying more than 600 snowplows across the state, according to California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES).

“Cal OES on the around the clock work being done to clear roads, restore power and protect our communities from the winter storms that have impacted so much of our state.” the authority tweeted.

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