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California braces for the worst as a powerful storm set to bring heavy rain, potential mudslides

A plow works to clear Santa Rosa Creek Road after a rockslide in Cambria, Callif. Crew worked Wednesday, March 21, 2018, the cleaning of the rockslide.

(Joe Johnston/The Tribune of San Luis Obispo via AP)

Governments and residents in California were bracing for the worst on Thursday as forecasters warned that big problems can still be on the way of a dangerous Pacific storm.

Record rain fell Wednesday in parts of Southern California, where thousands of their home over fears of mudslides and debris flows.

While there is nothing disastrous occurred, forecasters warned that the potential for disaster was still very well possible as the rain was set to pick up.

Workers place sandbags on a washed out driveway on La Tuna Canyon Road in Sun Valley, California.

(Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News via AP)

“We are very concerned,” National Weather Service meteorologist Joe Sirad said. “We hope that this is not a cry wolf scenario, where people pooh-pooh what we say.”

A long plume of subtropical moisture, known as an atmosphere river came ashore on the central coast and spread as far south as Los Angeles and as far north as the San Francisco Bay Area.

The storm moved east, bringing the threat of flooding for the San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra Nevada, where winter storm warnings for snow were in effect on the second day of spring.

Like almost 5 inches of rain fell in some parts of the state, authorities are closely in Santa Barbara County — in the hope there wouldn’t be a repeat of January the mudslides that killed 21 people in Montecito. A similar atmospheric river was the cause of these storms.

A UCLA climate scientist, wrote in a blog that this storm could be the year the strongest and can provide more rain than in January, the storm did.

March 21, 2018 satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a strong Pacific storm, known as a “Pineapple Express”, the lower arc of the clouds, of the Hawaii on the lower left, aimed directly at California, middle right, that was a heavy rain on a wide swath of the state.

(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via AP)

Mud and rockslides closed some roads in the region, including Highway 1 at Ragged Point near Big Sur, not far from the beautiful coast route is still blocked by a massive landslide caused by a storm last year.

A large pine tree was felled in Los Angeles, landing in a residential street in a wooden fence. No one was injured.

Santa Barbara County had already ordered the evacuation of areas along the south coast in the vicinity of areas burned by forest fires dates of 2016.

“We hope that this is not a cry wolf scenario, where people pooh-pooh what we say.”

– Meteorologist Joe Sirad

“We actually have a good feeling about the evacuation order,” Grimmesey said. “Law enforcement was in the extreme risk areas of Montecito yesterday knocking on doors. For those who were at home, we had a very good cooperation rate with people leaving.”

Many residents in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties have faced repeated evacuations or advisories since December, when a wind-driven fire grew to be the largest in recorded history and destroyed more than 1,000 buildings.

In Los Angeles County, authorities canceled some planned mandatory evacuations due to an expected decrease in precipitation, but kept the others in the place, because debris flows in a canyon area stripped bare by a wildfire.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.

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