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Heavy rain slams Central and Northern California, leading to widespread road closures and evacuation orders


Extreme rainfall led to areas of over saturation throughout Northern and Central California, prompting officials to evacuate parts of the state as well as closing major roads due to flooding.

On Saturday afternoon, Santa Cruz County issued evacuation orders in the mountains due to rising flood water. According to the county, zones FEL-E008 and CRZ-E081 are under the evacuation order.

"As of 11:30 AM river levels are continuing to rise, and we are expecting another few hours of rain. Therefore, we are issuing an evacuation order for folks in Felton Grove and Paradise Park to evacuate," the county told residents.

This morning, the California Highway Patrol tweeted that all southbound and northbound lanes would be closed indefinitely in South San Francisco due to major flooding and urged travelers to avoid the area and use I-280 as an alternative route.  

The National Weather Service issued several flood and wind advisories for the region, including San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin counties. 

An Areal Flood Advisory for San Francisco and San Mateo counties is in effect until noon, with "urban and small stream flooding" expected in San Francisco, Daly City, San Mateo, Palo Alto, South San Francisco, East Palo Alto, Pacifica and other areas nearby. 

Cars are stopped in the northbound lanes of Highway 101 after flooding closed the highway near Chualar, California.

Cars are stopped in the northbound lanes of Highway 101 after flooding closed the highway near Chualar, California. (AP Photo/Nic Coury)

The three right lanes of traffic on westbound 580 near 35th Avenue are blocked while crews try to clear the roadway of major flooding as a strong atmospheric river moves over Oakland, California.

The three right lanes of traffic on westbound 580 near 35th Avenue are blocked while crews try to clear the roadway of major flooding as a strong atmospheric river moves over Oakland, California.(Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

An automobile drives through a flooded portion of Mountain Boulevard in Oakland, Calif. Rain is expected across the Bay Area this week.

An automobile drives through a flooded portion of Mountain Boulevard in Oakland, Calif. Rain is expected across the Bay Area this week. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group via AP)

Throughout Central and Northern California, police are warning residents of closed roads due to flooding and encouraging residents to stay indoors on New Year's Eve.

In Pacifica, flooding closed the northbound lanes of SR-35 at Sharp Park Rd. Sections of Highway 92 are flooded from Skyline Boulevard to Main Street in Half Moon Bay, Cal Fire reported Saturday morning.

There also have been reports of flooding along Highway 101 ​​from Interstate 380 E to northbound 101 and near San Francisco International Airport.

According to the National Weather Service, 4.22 inches of rain have fallen within San Francisco, 3.07 inches in Mill Valley and almost 3 inches in Oakland over the last 24 hours. 

The National Weather Service expects the worst of the storm to hit by Saturday. The storm brings with it the possibility of gusting winds, downed power lines, falling trees and landslides.

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