California braces for ‘Pineapple Express’ storm

Dangerous flash flood threatens many counties.

California’s government has issued evacuation orders as a storm dubbed “Pineapple Express” flooded creeks and rivers while dropping warm, heavy rain atop the state’s snowpack.

Forecasters said Friday the Pineapple Express — so called because it is bringing warm, subtropical moisture from Hawaii — could cause some of that monster snowpack to melt, overwhelming river systems, Agence France-Presse reported.

“Rainfall totals of 4-9 inches, atop areas with saturated soil and deep snowpack will cause widespread and severe flooding impacts,” the National Weather Service warned, according to AFP.

“Higher elevations in northern California and the Sierras will receive a heavy, wet snow leading to difficult travel.”

Statewide, more than half of California’s 58 counties were under a state of emergency Friday due to the storm, USA Today reported.

One person was killed Friday morning when a roof collapsed at a warehouse in Oakland, possibly due to the heavy rains in the area, CNN reported.

Some 15 shelters open in nine counties, more than 9,400 people under evacuation orders, approximately 54,000-plus people were without power, Nancy Ward, director of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said.

“California is deploying every tool we have to protect communities from the relentless and deadly storms battering our state,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said. WITH AFP

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