As the Rains Ease in California, Many See the Damage Rise

More than 37,000 homes and businesses in the state were without power on Saturday afternoon, with more than 28,000 of those in Monterey County, according to

Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared 34 of California’s 58 counties to be in states of emergency. Since the storm system moved in on Thursday afternoon, eight to nine inches of rain have fallen in the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the National Weather Service said.

In parts of the state that escaped the brunt of the storm, some residents were still trying to get back to their normal lives.

In San Bernardino County, east of Los Angeles, where many residents in the mountains had been trapped in their homes for more than a week by snowdrifts up to 12 feet high, some people went about their business on Saturday as officials reported that all county-maintained roads — totaling 516 miles — had been serviced, with crews working on creating second lanes.

A public information officer for the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said that no new deaths had been reported and that no coroner’s findings had been released. The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office said on Thursday there have been 13 deaths during the storm, but it had determined so far that only one was directly linked to it.

About 3,000 students of the Rim of the World Unified School District, which serves 17 communities in the San Bernardino Mountains, have not been in class for two weeks because of the weather, but the district superintendent said on Saturday that she was hopeful that they would be able to return by Thursday or Friday.

Before then, however, more waves of precipitation are on the way. Another atmospheric river — a storm named for its long, narrow shape and the immense amount of water it carries — is forecast for Monday afternoon and is expected to last about 24 hours, leaving inadequate time for the ground and the river system to sponge up all the water before getting soaked again. The storm will bring more heavy rain, with heavy snow likely in the Sierra Nevada. Meteorologists say this will be the 11th atmospheric river in California this winter.