National News from ABC

California storms updates: Woman found dead in submerged in car

Photography by Keith Getter (all rights reserved)/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — Dangerously stormy weather continues to wallop California, drenching the drought-stricken state with a sudden and near constant onslaught of rain and snow, leaving a trail of destruction.

The National Weather Service has warned of a “relentless parade of atmospheric rivers” in the West Coast over the coming week. President Joe Biden has issued an emergency declaration for California, while local authorities have ordered thousands of residents to evacuate.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Jan 11, 5:34 PM EST
Officials resume search for missing 5-year-old

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office said it has continued its search for 5-year-old Kyle Doan who was swept away by floodwaters on Jan. 9.

About 80 personnel were involved with Wednesday’s search and were aided by many resources including sonar equipment and K9 units from other police departments.

Kyle is described as 4 feet tall, 52 pounds with short dirty blond hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing a black puffer jacket with a red liner, blue jeans, blue and gray Nike tennis shoes.

Jan 11, 4:21 PM EST
Woman found dead in submerged car

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s office announced that a woman was found dead Wednesday morning inside a submerged car.

First responders found Daphne Fontino, 43, inside the vehicle that was submerged in eight to 10 feet of water approximately 100 yards from the road in Forestville, according to the sheriff’s office.

The office received a 911 call the previous day that a car was stuck in flood waters near Trenton-Healdsburg Road. The dispatch tried to call back but got no response, according to the sheriff’s office.

Several deputies searched the area, including in a helicopter.

“They searched until sunset when the search became too dangerous to continue in the dark,” the sheriff’s office said.

Jan 11, 2:39 PM EST
Costs of natural gas skyrocket in California due to storms, supply issues

Due to recent storms, inventory and supply issues, the cost of natural gas in California is skyrocketing.

“An unprecedented cold snap across the nation in part has caused natural gas market prices in the West to more than double between December and January – much higher than expected,” utility provider SoCal Gas said in an email to customers.

“SoCalGas residential customers can expect the typical January bill likely to be more than double the typical bill last January, assuming the same amount of natural gas is used,” it added.

-ABC News’s David Herndon

Jan 11, 9:48 AM EST
West Coast to get over half a foot of rain

More than half of a foot of rainfall is in the forecast for the West Coast over the next week, from California to Washington state.

Some areas of California have already recorded 3 feet of rain since Christmas.

In the last two days, Ventura County counted 18.31 inches of rain, while Santa Barbara County got 17.17 inches and Los Angeles County 11.19 inches.

Meanwhile, some areas in the Sierra Nevada mountain range are at 257% of normal for snowfall to date.

Northern California’s reservoirs are also filling up quickly. As of Wednesday morning, Shasta Lake was at 41% of capacity or 67% of the average storage for this date; Lake Oroville was at 46% of capacity or 85% of average storage for the date; and Folsom Lake was at 42% of capacity or 100% of the average storage for the date.

Jan 11, 9:34 AM EST
Nevada skier dies in avalanche

A back-country skier died in Nevada’s Spring Mountains on Monday after getting caught in an avalanche, authorities said.

The victim was identified as Punan Zhou, 32, of Las Vegas, according to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

Zhou was among a group of five skiing in an unmaintained area of Mummy Mountain, the second-highest peak of the Spring Mountains, located near Las Vegas within the Mount Charleston Wilderness Area and the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. A slope gave way and swept Zhou about 500 feet down the mountain, police said.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the area on Monday.

Jan 11, 7:49 AM EST
The latest forecast for the West Coast

Yet another storm is expected to hit the West Coast on Wednesday, dumping more rain and snow over Northern California while offering some respite to Southern California.

Parts of coastal Oregon could see waves as high as 35 feet from this storm.

As of Wednesday morning, 12 U.S. states in the West were under severe weather alerts for high winds, floods, avalanches and heavy snowfall.

But any break this storm provides will be brief, as a much larger weather system is in the forecast for this weekend, bringing torrential rain, heavy snow and gusty winds to the entire state of California, from San Diego to Redding.

Over the next seven days, the deluge will impact Oregon and Washington state as the storms move farther north and become more widespread.

Part of the western storm that hit California on Tuesday will sweep across the country, bringing severe weather to the South on Thursday with threats of damaging winds and an isolated tornado. This storm will move into the Northeast on Thursday night with mostly just rain.

Jan 10, 6:39 PM EST
Santa Barbara lifts all evacuation and shelter-in-place orders

Santa Barbara County announced Tuesday that it’s lifting all its evacuation and shelter-in-place orders but warns that flooding may be present in certain parts of the county.

On Monday, Santa Barbara received a record 4.12 inches of rainfall.

Jan 10, 6:23 PM EST
At least 17 people dead due to weather, over 142,000 customers without power

At least 17 people are confirmed dead in California because of the powerful storms slamming the state, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

More than 44,000 people are under evacuation orders, Newsom said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Over 142,000 customers are without power throughout the state.

“We are not out of the woods,” Newsom said.

The storms are expected to impact the state until Jan. 18, according to the governor.

Jan 10, 2:59 PM EST
Search continues for 5-year-old swept away by floodwaters

Rescuers have resumed the search for a missing 5-year-old boy who was swept away by floodwaters near San Miguel, California, after they were forced to halt the search on Monday as the extreme weather made it unsafe for first responders to continue their efforts, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

Underwater search and rescue, as well as air operations, will continue the search during a break in the intense storms, but warned that conditions continue to be extremely dangerous, the sheriff’s office said.

“The water level is high and continues to be fast moving. The public is strongly cautioned not to conduct self-initiated searches and put themselves in harms way and become a victim requiring resources that would otherwise be used for searching,” the sheriff’s office said in a release.

Jan 10, 1:59 PM EST
At least 16 people dead due to weather, over 195,000 customers without power

At least 16 people are confirmed dead due to California’s most recent band of storms.

Over 195,000 customers are without power throughout the state.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office confirmed 14 deaths as of Monday afternoon. Two more deaths were confirmed on Tuesday. Lightning struck a tree that fell on top of a truck, killing its driver. A motorcyclist also died after hitting a tree on the road.

-ABC News’ Alyssa Starr

Jan 10, 8:03 AM EST
Over 224,000 customers without power in California

More than 224,000 customers were without power across California early Tuesday, as storms unabatedly battered the Golden State.

As of 4:56 a.m. PT, there were 224,470 Californian customers without power, according to data collected by the website PowerOutage.us. A majority of those — 64,057 customers — were located in Santa Clara County.

Jan 10, 7:56 AM EST
California sees record rain, snow

Storms have dumped copious amounts of rain over California in recent days.

Santa Barbara received a record 4.12 inches of rainfall on Monday alone.

In the past two days, Ventura County counted 16.34 inches, Santa Barbara County 16.05 inches, Los Angeles County 7.12 inches and Monterey County up to 10.71 inches.

Meanwhile, the highest wind gust in the last 24 hours — up to 88 miles per hour — was recorded in the mountains near Santa Clarita.

Another 5 to 10 inches of rainfall is expected across California through the weekend, with the possibility of more flooding. An additional 4 to 6 feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada mountain range is also in the forecast.

Jan 10, 7:47 AM EST
The latest forecast for California

An unusually long and powerful jet stream is bringing tropical moisture all the way from Southeast Asia to California. It’s been parked over the Pacific Ocean for weeks, with no end in sight.

The latest forecast shows parts of these Pacific storms moving into the Rocky Mountains on Tuesday, with heavy snowfall and gusty winds.

The next storm is already arriving in the San Francisco Bay Area on Tuesday morning and will last through the day. Los Angeles and other parts of Southern California will also get more rain with this new storm, according to the forecast.

California will have some respite on Tuesday night before a new storm arrives in the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday morning.

This pattern of stormy weather will not end there. The forecast shows yet another system arriving at the end of the week and lasting through the weekend, bringing even more rain from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

Jan 10, 7:12 AM EST
Tornado warnings for parts of Central California

The National Weather Service issued two tornado warnings for parts of Central California early Tuesday morning.

The first lasts until 4 a.m. PT and includes the areas of Rancho Calaveras, Valley Springs and San Andreas. The second lasts until 4:15 a.m. PT and includes the areas of Modesto, Ceres and Riverbank.

Jan 10, 6:47 AM EST
Over 192,000 customers without power in California

More than 192,000 customers were without power across California early Tuesday, as storms unabatedly battered the Golden State.

As of 3:37 a.m. PT, there were 192,426 Californian customers without power, according to data collected by the website PowerOutage.us. A majority of those — 85,314 customers — were located in Santa Clara County.

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