[Ed. – OK, OK, the concerns are real. Avalanches and hill-demolishing mudslides are no joke. But everybody loves to make fun of Californians dealing with “weather,” so have at it. Full disclosure: I (J.E.) live in SOCAL, and have had my share of exotic inconvenience and expense due to California’s unique pseudo-weather weather patterns. Believe me, you wouldn’t trade for them.]
“People are definitely in a state of panic right now,” said El Dorado County Sheriff’s Sgt. Todd Hammitt. “We’re getting a lot of calls asking if we’re going to be able to deal with everything. It’s the general pandemonium of not knowing what’s coming.”
The epic system — known as an atmospheric river — could dump so much rain and snow that some ski runs and roads will be declared off-limits, with forecasters warning of significant flooding, mudslides and avalanches in the Sierra Nevada.
Up to 12 inches of rain is expected to fall on areas below 8,500 feet beginning Saturday morning, and up to 7 feet of snow could bury higher elevations, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters said the storm was packing the same wallop as one that hit Northern California in 2005, causing $300 million in damage.