Watch: Drone video from California captures moments heavy rainfall and melting snow turn into rapids

SPRINGVILLE, Calif. – An unfolding flood threat in the Golden State caused several rivers to rapidly rise Friday, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents and destroying homes.

The combination of previous snowfall events and heavy rainfall from the most recent atmospheric river caused flash flooding that forced residents in communities such as Ponderosa and Springville to leave quickly.

The National Weather Service issued a rare Flash Flood Emergency and warned of catastrophic water level rises in Tulare County, California.

Atmospheric River Brings Heavy Rains And Threats Of Flooding To Northern California
SOQUEL, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 10: In an aerial view, workers make emergency repairs to a road that was washed out heavy rains on March 10, 2023 in Soquel, California.

Drone video taken by a storm chaser showed dozens of houses with water that made its way inside and at least one property that partially collapsed due to the force of the rising water.

Around the state, nearly 10,000 people were under evacuation notices as river and creek levels continued to rise into the evening.


The flash flood threat in California on Friday, March 10, 2023.
The flash flood threat in California on Friday, March 10, 2023.

California emergency management attributed at least two deaths to the latest round of hazardous weather and said a State of Emergency was issued for more than half the state’s counties.

The California National Guard deployed dozens of crews for the threat of additional flooding and river rises through at least the next week.

"This moisture is tapped from the tropics, the subtropics, and so it's just naturally warmer. And that's important because some of these snow levels with recent systems, we saw snow at about a thousand feet, so some people saw graupel along the beach. But the snow level is going to be more than perhaps 8,000 feet through the Sierra. And that's significant. More than just the foothills are going to see rain," said FOX Weather meteorologist Stephen Morgan.


More than 20 million Californians are under flood alerts, which will likely be extended into the foreseeable future due to additional forecast rainfall for over the weekend and early next week.