San Mateo County orders evacuations as new storm moves toward California


A series of winter storms rolling through California has closed several major highways and triggered evacuation orders in San Mateo County.

Officials are ordering residents in multiple coastal communities, including Loma Mar and Año Nuevo Island, as well asButano State Park, to evacuate in anticipation of the heavy rain expected Tuesday evening.

A triple play of wet weather is bringing much-needed rain to drought-stricken California, but the latest round has forecasters warning of an atmospheric river that could deliver significant rain and snow. The heaviest precipitation is expected Tuesday night, when the latest system connects with the stream of high-moisture-content air that could create a pipeline of water.

The 86,000 acres burned around the Santa Cruz Mountains in the fall by the massive CZU Lightning Complex fire is especially vulnerable. The soil is now weak without vegetation to hold it in place and at heightened risk for debris flows and mudslides, experts warn.

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