Extreme Weather Has Killed 12 in California in 10 Days — and More Rains Are Coming: 'Be Cautious'

Extreme Weather Has Killed 12 in California in 10 Days — and More Rains Are Coming: 'Be Cautious'

As California continues to grapple with a series of ongoing storms, which have battered the state with extreme rainfall and winds, officials are anticipating that the "worst" is "still in front of us."

"In the last 10 days, 12 people have lost their lives to these floods," Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Sunday. "These floods are deadly, and have now turned [out] to be more deadly than even the wildfires here in the state."

Newsom shared that more civilians had lost their lives to flooding in 10 days than had died from wildfires in two years. Among those who died was a 2-year-old boy, whom authorities said was killed after a redwood tree fell on his home in Northern California.

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On Saturday, as the first of two atmospheric rivers hit, several counties along the coast were placed under a flood watch, according to CBS San Francisco, which reported that some neighborhoods saw up to six inches of rainfall.

SAUSALITO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 07: Cars drive by a sign warning of storms hitting the Bay Area on January 07, 2023 in Sausalito, California. The San Francisco Bay Area continues to get drenched by powerful atmospheric river events that have brought high winds and flooding rains. The storms have toppled trees, flooded roads and cut power to tens of thousands. Storms are lined up over the Pacific Ocean and are expected to bring more rain and wind through next week. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAUSALITO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 07: Cars drive by a sign warning of storms hitting the Bay Area on January 07, 2023 in Sausalito, California. The San Francisco Bay Area continues to get drenched by powerful atmospheric river events that have brought high winds and flooding rains. The storms have toppled trees, flooded roads and cut power to tens of thousands. Storms are lined up over the Pacific Ocean and are expected to bring more rain and wind through next week. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Justin Sullivan/Getty Warning sign in Sausalito, California

The second storm system is expected to "quickly arrive on Tuesday with amounts slightly less heavy, but impacting locations farther south into southern California," per the National Weather Service (NWS). Additionally, the Sierra Nevada could see up to 6 feet of snow.

"The cumulative effect of successive heavy rainfall events will lead to additional instances of flooding," according to the agency, which warns that "susceptible terrain and areas near recent burn scars will be most at risk for debris flows and rapid runoff."

SAUSALITO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 07: Cyclists ride through a flooded bike path on January 07, 2023 in Sausalito, California. The San Francisco Bay Area continues to get drenched by powerful atmospheric river events that have brought high winds and flooding rains. The storms have toppled trees, flooded roads and cut power to tens of thousands. Storms are lined up over the Pacific Ocean and are expected to bring more rain and wind through next week. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAUSALITO, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 07: Cyclists ride through a flooded bike path on January 07, 2023 in Sausalito, California. The San Francisco Bay Area continues to get drenched by powerful atmospheric river events that have brought high winds and flooding rains. The storms have toppled trees, flooded roads and cut power to tens of thousands. Storms are lined up over the Pacific Ocean and are expected to bring more rain and wind through next week. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Justin Sullivan/Getty Cyclists ride through flooded bike in Sausalito, California

Officials are also warning that the snowfall "is likely to increase the threat of avalanches," while strong winds "could lead to the threat of downed trees and power outages."

As of Monday morning, there are already over 132,000 customers without power across the state, according to PowerOutage.Us.

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The Sacramento County of Emergency Services issued an evacuation order for the Wilton area on Sunday, which went into immediate effect.

"Flooding is imminent," officials said in the order. "Rising water may spill over onto the nearest roadways and cut off access to leave the area."

"We are expecting high winds through the night reaching approximately 50-60 mph gusts. Power outages and downed trees are likely," they added. "We are urging residents to get out now."

Officials in Santa Cruz County also issued an evacuation warning for certain areas from Sunday evening through Tuesday

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Casey Flanigan/imageSPACE/Shutterstock (13701237s) A general view of the Rio Del Mar Beach, which is part of Seacliff State Beach in Aptos, CA after the most recent storm on January 5, 2023. Storm surge damage is seen along this stretch of California's Central-Northern Coast. Excessive rain and a significant storm surge which caused considerable damage to the local area including many beachfront attractions. Storm Surge Damage Along California Coast - 06 Jan 2023
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Casey Flanigan/imageSPACE/Shutterstock (13701237s) A general view of the Rio Del Mar Beach, which is part of Seacliff State Beach in Aptos, CA after the most recent storm on January 5, 2023. Storm surge damage is seen along this stretch of California's Central-Northern Coast. Excessive rain and a significant storm surge which caused considerable damage to the local area including many beachfront attractions. Storm Surge Damage Along California Coast - 06 Jan 2023

Casey Flanigan/imageSPACE/Shutterstock Rio Del Mar Beach in Aptos, California, after being hit by a storm this week

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Speaking on Sunday, California Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot said that the extreme weather in January has been "supercharged by climate change."

According to recent research by UCLA, climate change has made "extreme precipitation in California twice as likely" and the worsening storms are "projected to generate 200% to 400% more runoff by the end of the century."

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Casey Flanigan/imageSPACE/Shutterstock (13701237ax) Aerial view of the Capitola Pier in Capitola, CA after the most recent storm on January 5, 2023. Storm surge damage is seen along this stretch of California's Central-Northern Coast. Excessive rain and a significant storm surge which caused considerable damage to the local area including many beachfront attractions. Storm Surge Damage Along California Coast - 06 Jan 2023
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Casey Flanigan/imageSPACE/Shutterstock (13701237ax) Aerial view of the Capitola Pier in Capitola, CA after the most recent storm on January 5, 2023. Storm surge damage is seen along this stretch of California's Central-Northern Coast. Excessive rain and a significant storm surge which caused considerable damage to the local area including many beachfront attractions. Storm Surge Damage Along California Coast - 06 Jan 2023

Casey Flanigan/imageSPACE/Shutterstock Storm surge damage along California's Central-Northern Coast

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During the press conference, Newsom said officials are working "around the clock" to "be as proactive as we can."

In addition to a state of emergency that was declared last week, the lawmaker said he was requesting an emergency presidential declaration. That declaration was approved late Sunday evening, according to a White House press release.

"Just be cautious over the course of the next week," Newsom told Californians. "Don't test fate."