Photos of California Floods: Damage, Rescues, and More Rain Coming

  • An atmospheric river dumped record rainfallAll across Nothern CaliforniaNew Year’s Eve
  • Photos show flooding, landslides; boat and helicopter rescues; breached levees; and a sinkhole.
  • Another atmospheric river is coming, possibly bringing more flooding Wednesday and Thursday.

Northern California was inundated by floodwaters following record rainfall on New Year’s Eve by an atmospheric river.

Californians have just a few days of respite before another atmospheric river — a channel of water vapor that can carry as much water as a river — is expected to inundate the area on Wednesday and Thursday. According to the, it will be “similar in strength and stronger than the New Years Eve hurricane.” National Weather Service.

The soil may not be able absorb as much water from the new atmospheric river, because it is already saturated by the storm. This could lead to even more flooding.

flooding under highway partially submerges a car in san francisco

This screengrab is a screengrab taken from a social media video. It shows a car partially submerged on a flooded street in San Francisco, California.

Dav Yaginuma/Reuters

The recent storm left many people stranded, cars submerged and abandoned and closed highways. It also triggered landslides, mudslides, and landslides. At least two people died in the floods. Rescue efforts are ongoing and floodwaters continue to surge in some areas.

car drives around landslide pile of dirt ringed with floodwater blocking mountain highway

Highway 92 West in San Mateo County (California) was blocked by a landslide on December 31, 2022.

Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Saturday was Oakland’s wettest ever, while San Francisco was only a few days shy of breaking the record. John Shrable (a meteorologist for KRON4) captured flooding in the city. 

After a culvert that had been overwhelmed by rain collapsed underground, the Oakland Zoo was forced to close on Sunday. The sinkhole caused by the flooding created a problem.

Floodwaters caused trouble even after the rain stopped. They stranded people and disabled businesses.

Because the atmosphere is warmer, more moisture can be deposited into the atmosphere by atmospheric rivers. This increases the possibility of severe flooding events, such as these (or worse), in the future. scientists have warned.

Two deaths in Sacramento County: Levee breaches, boat, or helicopter rescues and levee breaches

flooded homes yards fields aerial view california sacramento county

An aerial view of the flooding caused by rainstorms near Wilton, California. This was taken January 1, 2023.

Fred Greaves/Reuters

Floodwaters breached levees in the Sacramento Valley on Sunday, leading to evacuation orders — followed by shelter-in-place orders — and flooding Highway 99, the main thoroughfare cutting through the Central Valley.

Rescue efforts in the area are ongoing. FOX40 News reported that one person was found drowned in a submerged vehicle Sunday morning. reported. According to the, another person died after being pulled out of the water. San Francisco Chronicle.

Elk Grove firefighters used a boat to rescue people trapped on a temporary island caused by flooding.


Another person was saved by helicopter after floodwaters had trapped them against trees.


San Francisco is submerged and Tahoe is snowed in

Rintaro, a San Francisco-based restaurant, shared a video of its facilities being overwhelmed by standing water on its Instagram page.

Sylvan Mishima brackett (@mr_rintaro), shared this post


One San Francisco resident shared footage on Twitter of a powerful mudslide, saying that it was running through Bernal Heights on Saturday.

Further footage shows muddy floodwaters flowing downhill onto a residential street.


The Tahoe atmospheric river dumped snow onto the roads. left some drivers strandedMajor roads were closed by authorities.

During the storm, large boulders were pushed onto Highway 50 from nearby. California Department of Transportation indicated that it would need to blast them.


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