REPORTS: Flooding forces water rescues as deadly storm soaks California
January 09, 2017, 8:04:04 AM EST
As of 5 a.m. PST Monday, this story is no longer being updated. For forecast information, click here.
One person is dead and road closures are mounting as excessive rain and mountain snow drills into northern and central California.
Feet of snow will bury the mountains into midweek, while cumulative rainfall will exceed 4 inches in the lower elevations. More than a foot of rain could fall along the west-facing slopes of the mountains.
Runoff from the excessive rain, combined with snow melt, will overwhelm streams and rivers flowing out of the mountains, threatening lives and property.
"Rivers and streams that flow out of the Sierra into the lower foothills and valleys in California and also into western Nevada will likely see the worst flooding in a couple of decades," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said. "The greatest potential for destruction comes from the rivers that have little or no flood control, such as dams or catch basins."
The Pioneer Cabin tree, famously known for its hollowed out trunk that allowed cars to drive through it in the California Sierra Nevada, was toppled due to the intense winter storm.
According to the Calaveras Big Trees Association's Facebook page, "the storm was just too much" for the famed Sequoia, that was believed to be possibly more than 1,000 years old.
The "tunnel tree" was originally hollowed out back in the 1880s, but more recently, was only accessible on foot.
At about 11 p.m. PST, a levee breach reportedly occurred along the Carmel River in Carmel Valley, California. The water inundated throughout the area, affecting between 20 and 30 homes. Residents are currently being rescued.
According to a trained spotter at 8:45 p.m. PST, flood water is entering homes in Adin, California. Sand bagging efforts are currently underway in the region.
The flooding is reportedly due to a combination of heavy rain, snow melt and ice jamming on local creeks.
Four accidents were caused by cars hydroplaning on wet roads in Atascadero, California, on Sunday evening.
Flooding of the Carson River has caused dangerous road conditions, closures and evacuations in Carson City, Nevada. The Nevada Humane Society has set up an emergency station at a Latter Day Saints Church to provide shelter for animals in need. To view current updates on road conditions visit http://maps.carson.org or http://carson.org/flood.
Truckee River in the North Edison Road area in Reno, Nevada, has breached as of Sunday evening. The Reno Police Department has been evacuating the area. All downtown Reno bridges are closed. Access across the river right now includes the Wells overpass and Keystone bridge.
The Sacramento Weir, a relief structure that is designed to protect the City of Sacramento from excessive flood stages in the Sacramento River channel downstream of the American River, will open its gates for the first time since January 2006. Widespread flooding of the Yolo Bypass will occur once the Sacramento Weir is open. Any equipment or livestock should be removed from the bypass area before midday.
Heavy rain and mud/rock slides are continuing to impact transportation in northern California. California Highway Patrol (CHP) of Grass Valley reports that SR-49 is closed north of Downieville to Sierra City, with only local residents granted access. Driving on a closed roadway carries heavy fines and penalties, according to CHP.
The Truckee River in Nevada has officially hit the flood stage, according to NWS Reno. The river is expected to crest at 7 a.m. Monday, causing serious transportation impacts with many bridges in Reno and Sparks.
Water levels continue to rise in the Greater Sacramento area, with substantial flooding in Grass Valley on Wolf Creek in Nevada County. Residents are advised to gather their things in case they need to leave their homes.
Winds have been gusting past 40 mph since 8:30 a.m. PST at San Francisco International Airport. Winds peaked at 61 mph at 10 a.m. PST. As of 1:15 p.m. PST, 59 flights at the airport were canceled and 70 were delayed.
Pacific Gas & Electric is reporting that 42,100 customers are currently without power across the Bay Area as of noon PST. There are about 17,730 customers without power on the peninsula, 984 without power in the East Bay, 10,500 in the North Bay and 6,000 in San Francisco. PG&E crews are working to restore power as quickly as possible.
In the Reno, Nevada, area, rain is leading to flooding concerns. Officials closed all public parks along the Truckee River as the level continues to rise. Road closures were reported in Washoe County due to flooding as of Sunday afternoon.
The level of the Napa River at St. Helena has risen 9 feet on Sunday morning. Projections from the National Weather Service Hydrologists indicate that the river will continue to rise to 19.7 feet on Sunday afternoon. At that level, major flooding will occur across the upper Napa Valley, making travel nearly impossible. Major to disastrous flooding will affect all towns in reach.
Trees are down in Marin County, California, just north of San Francisco, local officials report.
One tree fell onto a residence. Thousands are without power in Marin County, according to the Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
More than 9,000 Pacific Gas and Electric customers are without power in San Francisco, the utility reported at 10:30 a.m. PST. Another 10,000 are without power in Daly City, just south of San Francisco.
A 61-mph wind gust was reported at San Francisco International Airport late on Sunday morning.
As of 9:30 p.m. PST on Sunday, Jan. 8, law enforcement reported issues are mounting around Santa Rosa, California. A mudslide is blocking a road with a creek overflowing onto another road near the city.
The top of Fitch Mountain in Healdsburg, California, is also experiencing muddy water flowing down the hillside.
The storm turned deadly on Saturday when a woman was killed on a golf course by a falling tree in San Ramon, California, according to ABC News.
Strong winds gusted to 43 mph at San Francisco's International Airport on Saturday afternoon. Another bout of strong winds produced a gust to nearly 50 mph on Sunday morning.
More than 100 flights have been canceled so far on Sunday. The average delay for arriving flights exceeds four hours, according to the FAA.
Streams are rapidly rising across the area as heavy rain continues to stream in. After the current storm started as snow, Blue Canyon Airport (located off of I-80) reported more than 4.50 inches of rain from daybreak on Saturday to the midmorning of Sunday.
Some flooding was reported on Saturday near Santa Rosa, California.
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