Intense rainfall across large swaths of California in early January brought floods and mudslides, wreaking havoc on public transportation and Amtrak intercity trains.
A series of storms that began more than 11 days ago pounded the state’s major cities, including Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco. Gov. Gavin Newsom advised residents on Monday to “be hyper-vigilant,” while California Department of Transportation districts across the state were “strongly advising the public to avoid traveling.”
“At this point we are switching to cumulative impacts so it’s not that any individual storm is the big, scary one. It’s what are the cumulative impacts, because it’s really rare for us to get into #storms 7, 8, & 9 as part of a storm series.”-State Climatologist Mike Anderson pic.twitter.com/eeknzHgFJ8— CA - DWR (@CA_DWR) January 11, 2023
Parts of Los Angeles Union Station were flooded on Tuesday. In San Clemente, where a landslide has halted Amtrak and commuter train service between Orange and San Diego counties since September, the ongoing storms are delaying repairs.
Here’s how the state’s major transportation systems were affected:
- Amtrak: On Wednesday morning, all Pacific Surfliner trains north of Los Angeles remained canceled. The tracks between Goleta and San Luis Obispo will be closed for 10-16 days starting Jan. 12 to allow the Union Pacific Railroad to complete repair work.
- Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority: Delays were reported Wednesday morning on parts of the A and L light-rail lines due to debris on the tracks.
- Bay Area Rapid Transit: Trains were slowed on Tuesday due to wet weather, while a power outage at Richmond caused a major delay.
- San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency: A tree came down on a bus Tuesday.
- Sacramento Regional Transit: As of Tuesday, Gold and Green Line light rail service was suspended due to power outages.
President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for California on Monday. More storms are expected to hit Northern California on Wednesday and move up the coast to the Pacific Northwest, according to the National Weather Service.