Seven-foot snowfall expected in Sierra Nevada Mountains

ABC News(MONTECITO, Calif.) — As the East Coast faces a nor’easter, eight states in the West — from Washington to California — are under winter and flood alerts due to a major storm moving through the area.

Seven feet of snow is forecast for Northern California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, and even up to a foot of snow is possible in the mountains around Los Angeles.

Already, the Sierra Nevada Mountains has seen 2 feet of snow and winds gusting over 100 miles per hour.

In Montecito, California, where up to 2 inches of rain is possible, 22,000 residents left their homes under a mandatory evacuation order.

Eighty-seven percent of residents in the “extreme risk area” evacuated, Santa Barbara County officials said Friday morning.

Santa Barbara County’s mandatory evacuation order has since been lifted.

The area, officials said, saw a rate of slightly more than half an inch of rain per hour.

“The worst of the storm has passed, and we are cautiously optimistic that, due to a significant amount of pre-storm preparation, we have come through this with minimal impact,” Rob Lewin, director of the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management, said in a statement Friday morning. “Crews are currently completing an assessment of all roads, debris basins, the condition of utilities and other public facilities for damage or impact.”

Meanwhile, further north, 3 inches of rain fell from Oregon to Northern California, with reports of flooding in the San Francisco Bay area.

The rain, heavy at times, will continue in Southern California through Friday afternoon.

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