California winter storms: Powerful winter storms trigger evacuation orders and knock out power in parts of California
Potential of dangerous mudslides
When wildfires consume land, they destroy the vegetation that would otherwise absorb water and hold soil and debris in place. After millions of acres were burned across the state last year, that land is now at higher risk for both flash floods and mudslides.
“If we need to leave, we have a place to stay that we don’t have to pay for or worry about finding,” Button said. “Before when we evacuated for the fires, we didn’t know where we were going to go.”
Heavy snow also expected
Meanwhile, parts of the high Sierra can see as much as 5 feet of snow this week, with a few areas possibly seeing as much as 7 feet of snow through Friday.
Caltrans, the state’s transportation agency, said they’re expecting “blizzard and whiteout conditions” in parts of the Sierra.
In Butte County, authorities reported it had begun to snow and warned residents to “take all precautions” when driving.
CNN’s Joe Sutton and Sarah Moon contributed to this report.