Flooded Californians will have to endure several more days of rain as new storms line up in the Pacific to hit the state with record rainfall, forecasters said Thursday.

The Bay Area and Central Coast have been particularly hard hit, with rain in San Francisco on 15 of the 18 days from Christmas through Wednesday.

Oakland International Airport, a focal point of the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area region, has received almost a year’s worth of rain in the past 3 1/2 months.

From Oct. 1 through Wednesday, that East Oakland neighborhood received 17.85 inches of rain when a normal year sees 18.7 inches of rain.

The death toll of the series of atmospheric rivers that have drenched the state since last month rose Thursday to 21, according to a tally by NBC News.

Among the most recent deaths are two men found dead at a home in Sea Ranch, a coastal community a few hours north of San Francisco, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said.

Their causes of death were unclear, but a sheriff’s office spokesperson said the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services was tracking the deaths as storm-related.

The governor’s office said Thursday it had asked the White House for an expedited declaration of a major disaster in the state, a request that could free up assistance for people hardest hit by the storms, which are expected to continue through next week.

«Due to the sustained strength and longevity of this atmospheric river event, there are multiple cumulative and compounding effects, which have already strained and overwhelmed local, tribal and state resources,» the governor’s office said in a news release.

Kyle Doan.San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Office via Twitter

In Monterey County, Sheriff Tina Nieto evoked her native son, John Steinbeck, as she pleaded with residents to heed evacuation orders and stay away from the Salinas River, which is expected to flood its banks Thursday morning. night. Such flooding could turn the area into an island, potentially isolating the Monterey Peninsula, home to the city of the same name, Pebble Beach, Pacific Grove and Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Steinbeck «spoke up, it’s not a pretty river, but it’s our only river here in the Salinas Valley,» he said. «During wet weather, the river can become very dangerous, but during the dry season, it can turn into sandbars.»

«I think our public forgets about that,» he added.

To the south, in San Luis Obispo County, rescuers They continued their search on Thursday. for 5-year-old Kyle Doan, who was swept away by floodwaters Monday.

Kyle was being driven to kindergarten by his mother when they hit a rainwater-filled pothole in the road and their car was thrown off its wheels.

«It’s getting harder every day, because we just don’t have answers,» the boy’s father, Brian Doan, told NBC News on Wednesday. «It is what it is.»

Rescuers search for 5-year-old Kyle Doan, who was washed away by floodwaters, near San Miguel, California, on January 11, 2023.
Rescuers search Wednesday for 5-year-old Kyle Doan, who was swept away by floodwaters, near San Miguel, California. San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office via AP

A brief respite from Thursday’s rain will be temporary as three new systems line up in the Pacific Ocean and move toward California over the next few days.

The first storm will hit far northwestern California and the Oregon and Washington coast on Thursday and continue through Friday.

A second system could affect the entire state on Saturday and Sunday.

And a third storm could be the strongest of the pack, hitting the state Sunday night and lasting through Tuesday, bringing strong gusts of wind and rain. Much of California will receive anywhere from an inch to 4 inches, with some pockets receiving up to 8 inches in this time frame.