Storm impacts Western states

Photo for Headline Surfer / This visible image from NASA's Aqua satellite on Jan. 6, 2017, at 3:35 p.m. EST (20:35 UTC) shows snow cover in the US Pacific Northwest in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, northern California and Nevada. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response. YouTube download / AP video /

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Unexpected winter weather has hit Western states, as emergency crews gear up for more snow and flooding on this Wednesday. 

Heavy rains and flooding along rivers forced the evacuation of thousands of people in a California wine making region and an area of Nevada east of Lake Tahoe on Monday, officials told Reuters, with more storms on the way.

Here is a synopsis of the devastating impact of the storm as reported by Reuters: Regions of California and Nevada, two states which have suffered from drought for years, were walloped by storms over the past week from a weather system called the "Pineapple Express" that sent moisture streaming from Hawaii. The storms have knocked out power for more than 570,000 customers of Pacific Gas and Electric in northern and central California since Saturday, but electricity has been restored to almost all of them, said company spokesman Tom Schmitz.

Over the past week, the storms brought 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 cm) of rain and snow to the Sierra Nevada mountains in California and lesser amounts of precipitation in western Nevada, meteorologist Bob Oravec of the Weather Prediction Center said by phone. 

A woman died after she was struck by a falling tree on Saturday in the San Francisco Bay area, with a local fire official saying the weather appears to have caused the tree to topple, according to Bay Area News Group.

By Henry Frederick, Headline Surfer
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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.