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Live Blog: Flash Flood Warning For King Fire Affected Areas In Placer, El Dorado Counties

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A city utility worker clears a gutter on 21st Street and 3rd Ave.

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

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Friday Updates

Storify - The Storm On Social Media


 

7:00 p.m. - Localized Flooding Reported

Caltrans reports that southbound I-5 is closed as South Avenue due to flooding over the South Ave. off- and on-ramps.

California Highway Patrol is reporting flooding at Arden Way and Exposition Blvd, advising drivers to find alternate routes.

 

 

6:00 p.m.   Tahoe Area Still Experiencing Outages

The flash flood warning issued this morning for El Dorado and Placer counties with particular emphasis on the area of the King Fire remains in effect until 9:30 p.m. The National Weather Service says heavy rains today could cause mudslides.

8,200 people east of Lake Tahoe are without power.

Power has been restored to 5,900 people near Shasta.

5:30 p.m.  Arcade Creek Level Rising Near American River College

Capital Public Radio's Ben Adler reporters from the scene

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 Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

4:00 p.m. Latest Power Outage Updates

More than 7,000 customers are without power around Lake Tahoe. The Lake Tahoe School District sent school children home early.  

About 150,000 PG&E customers in the San Francisco Bay Area have been affected by the storm.

67,000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area are still in the dark.  More than twice that many were without power this morning when a substation failed.  

There have been more than 100 power outages in the greater Sacramento Region.  There are 400 people without power from Lincoln to Auburn.

SMUD says 120 customers are still without power.  

About 5,900 people near Shasta are also without power.

3:45 p.m. - Latest Update from National Weather Service and CHP; Blizzard Warning For Sierra

The storm hit the Sacramento region Thursday morning, first with wind, then rain. Now, snow is falling in the higher elevations of the Sierra. Caltrans said some small creeks and streams rose in Sacramento.

The California Highway Patrol reported several highway accidents that blocked traffic on I-5 and other roadways for a short time during the late morning. And, seven outbound and four inbound flights were canceled at the Sacramento International Airport. 

For the Sacramento Valley, the National Weather Service said winds to about 24 mph, with gusts to 44, are possible through Thursday afternoon, with rain continuing with up to a half to 3/4 of an inch of rain.

For the West Slope of the Northern Sierra, there's a blizzard warning until 10 a.m. Friday above 6,500 feet. Locations include Donner Pass, Echo Summit and Carson Pass. The snow level is 6,500 feet Thursday afternoon, lowering to 4,500 to 5,500 Thursday night into Friday morning.

The Weather Service said whiteout conditions - visibility near zero - could close Sierra passes for several hours. Snow is forecast to continue through Friday morning with the heaviest snow expected Thursday afternoon and evening. Winds from 25 to 50 mph with gusts to 80 mph or higher are expected into Thursday evening, decreasing Friday morning.

 - Ed Joyce

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3:15 p.m.  First Wave Passes Through

The first wave of a storm has drenched the coast of California and is making its way across the state.  

The San Francisco Bay Area has received between two and eight inches of rain in the last 24 hours and the storm's second wave is bringing more rain now. (3:15 p.m.)

About a quarter-of-an-inch-an-hour has been falling in most of the Sacramento region for the last four hours. The city of Sacramento has been receiving about a tenth-of-an-inch per hour.

The western slope of the Sierra is under a blizzard warning with two-to-four inches of snow expected today.

Cal Trans says chain controls are in effect on Interstate-80 and Highway 49. A jack-knifed big rig has caused a backup on I-80 westbound at the Donner Lake Interchange.

Sacramento International Airport says about a dozen flights have been canceled.

Nearly 240 flights out of SFO in San Francisco have been canceled.

In Plumas County there is one-way traffic control in effect at Rich Bar at the site of a rock slide.

Highway 16 in Yolo County is closed at least until Saturday because of a mudslide.

Central California from Modesto south is under a high-wind warning.

About two dozen state parks and campgrounds have been closed. Old Sacramento has closed its "Theater of Lights" display.


2:45 PM: Power Outages Update

More than 7,000 customers are without power around Lake Tahoe. The Lake Tahoe School District has sent children home for the day.

There have been more than 100 power outages in the greater Sacramento Region. There are 400 people without power from Lincoln to Auburn.

SMUD says 120 customers are still without power.  

About 150,000 PG&E customers in the San Francisco Bay Area have been effected by the storm.

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1:15 P.M. Thursday's winter storm kept a lot of people at home. But there were a few people enjoying their morning coffee at the Ambrosia Café near the state Capitol.

The café’s manager Kim Anderson had no problem getting into work. But she was surprised when she went to the store yesterday.  

"I did go to the grocery store last night to buy some water and batteries," says Anderson. "They were out of water. I’ve never seen that in my life. But I’ve been telling everybody the east coasters are laughing at us right now."

Ambrosia  Customer Randy Chin says he got his house ready for the storm, but says, so far the weather hasn’t lived up to expectations.

"I have a big ornamental Christmas tree on my roof, which I took down yesterday because I was afraid it would blow over," says Chin. "And I did the thoughtful thing and cleaned out my gutters in anticipation of the rain that hasn’t come yet.” 

 

12:30 P.M. Some of the heaviest rain from the storm is now falling in the Sacramento region.

Chad Hertzell with the California Highway Patrol in Sacramento says there are no major problems on Sacramento roadways, but there are some minor incidents.

"We do have flooding on I-5 Northbound at Q street and also Business 80 at J Street and 99 at 12th Avenue, there's some flooding down there,” said Hertzell. “And somebody spun out southbound I-5, just south of Seamus.

Hertzell also said there is also an injury accident on eastbound U-S 50 at Sunrise Boulevard.

He said light traffic is the main reason there are fewer problems on area highways early Thursday afternoon.

But Hertzell says that may change when the afternoon rush hour commute begins and heavy rains continue.

- Ed Joyce / Capital Public Radio

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A city utility worker clears a gutter on 21st Street and 3rd Ave.  Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

12 P.M.  Several Lake Tahoe ski areas have closed Thursday because of the major storm in the region.

Ski Northstar says all lifts are closed Thursday. Boreal Mountain says it has suspended operations because of the forecast for high winds and heavy snowfall. And, the Heavenly Valley ski area said it closed for the day due to strong winds. Heavenly says it plans to reopen Friday. 

NV Energy reports that high winds from the storm have caused power outages to about 12,000 people across Truckee Meadows and the Lake Tahoe area.

Wednesday's storm kept a lot of people home. But there were some who braved the rain. State employees Fawntine Trowbridge and Yuri Jafarinejad were huddled under umbrellas hurrying toward the Capitol.

Trowbridge says Wednesday night was more of a hassle than Thursday morning.

"Because I took down all the curtains in my cabana," she says. "I took down all the extraneous holiday decorations that weren’t tied down. I mean, I was getting prepared. Then I was watching the wind and I was like hmm, glad I did that."

Trowbridge says the media over-hyped the storm. Jafarinejad agrees.

"Commute was great, I think everybody stayed home, so it was nice not to have that horrible commute," says Jafarinejad. "And I agree with her, they made a big deal about it. And we might get a little more wind or rain, but it shouldn’t be that horrible compared to other states.” 

The rain is expected to last through Friday.

-Ed Joyce and Katie Orr

11 A.M. Storm Hits Lake Tahoe

A flash flood warning has been issued for El Dorado and Placer counties with particular emphasis on the area of the King Fire. The National Weather Service says heavy rains today could cause mudslides.

Nearly every county in the San Francisco Bay Area is under a flash flood warning. The Central Valley is under a high wind warning and the western slope of the Sierra is under a blizzard warning.

Traffic has flowed fairly well, though I-5 at J Street was blocked at about 10 this morning because of a jack-knifed big rig. Cal Trans says they re-opened the freeway.

The Sacramento Airport reports morning flights to and from SFO are cancelled. Other flights are slightly delayed.

In Plumas County there is one-way traffic control in effect at Rich Bar at the site of a rock slide.

Highway 16 in Yolo County is closed because of a mudslide.

There are more than 100 power outages in the greater Sacramento Region. There are 1,500 people are without power in Auburn and about 1,500 without power in Roseville and Loomis.

About 118,000 people are without power in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Got any storm-related photos? Send them to us through Twitter, Facebook or e-mail them to community@capradio.org.

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Photos: Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

10 A.M. Flash Flood Warning

A flash flood warning has been issued for El Dorado and Placer counties. The warning is expected to be in effect until Friday.

9 A.M. Storm Updates

CHP has cleared an accident with an overturned pickup southbound on I-5 at Airport Boulevard. There are two vehicles in the center divide. There were minor injuries with one driver transported to the hospital.

CHP in Truckee is reporting snow flurries above the 7-thousand foot elevation. Drivers should use caution driving in extreme wind conditions.

The Sacramento Airport reports morning flights to and from SFO are cancelled. Other flights are slightly delayed.

In Plumas County there is one-way traffic control in effect at Rich Bar at the site of a rock slide.

There are a number power outages across the Sacramento region. As of 8:30 a.m. SMUD reported 16 outages affecting 800 customers.

There are two new outages -- one in Fair Oaks affecting 79 customers and another in Citrus Heights affecting 72 customers since 8:15 a.m.

In Cameron Park and Shingle Springs, a new outage affecting more than 180 customers was reported before 7:30 a.m.

In Rosemont, more than 350 customers are without power as of 7:20 a.m.

In Auburn, there are reports of trees hitting power lines at Dry Creek Road and Parkway Drive and on Northpark Place.


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Crews clean up a downed tree in Rancho Cordova.                             Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

8 A.M.  The winter storm blowing through the Sacramento region and causing power outages and downed tree limbs will bring heavy rain later Thursday morning through the afternoon commute. 

Capital Public Radio's Katie Orr has been braving the morning commute around Sacramento this morning. She's been driving along the I-5 and 80 eastbound. Right now, she is in the Natomas area. Listen to her report here. 

7:40 A.M. Updates

In Yolo County, CalTrans crews are responding to Highway 16 between Rumsey and the Highway 16 / 20 junction due to a mudslide.

CalTrans crews have removed a downed tree blocking westbound lanes on Highway 20 at King Road in Colusa County.

There are thousands of customers without power across the Sacramento region.

As of 7:45 a.m., SMUD is reporting 12 outages affecting 1,100 customers.

In Rosemont, more than 350 customers are without power as of 7:20 a.m.

PG&E says there was an outage in Davis affecting almost 27-hundred customers from 5 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. Power was restored to all but 343 customers as of 7:30 a.m.
In Nevada County, about 250 customers lost power around 6 a.m., and PG&E is working to restore power. In Cameron Park about 1,700 customers without power due to a broken pole on Milbrae Road.

In downtown Sacramento 435 customers are waiting for SMUD crews to restore electricity. In Land Park still affecting 80 customers as of 7:15 a.m. Between 3:30 and 7:00 a.m. crews restored power to 200 customers.

In Arden 29 customers lost power just a few minutes before 7:00 a.m.


7 A.M. The National Weather Service says the brunt of the rain from this storm will be hitting the Sacramento area a bit later Thursday -- running through the afternoon into the evening commute.

Meteorologist Mike Smith says the wind will be picking up a bit later this morning as well.

"Looks like the maximum wind speeds in the southern Sacramento Valley around that mid-day, early afternoon from about ten in the morning til early afternoon we'll see the maximum winds, and after that they should be dropping off pretty quickly," says Smith.

The rain hit the Northern part of the state hard overnight-- Smith says they've gotten reports of flooding streams and creeks in the Redding area. This storm is expected to drop two to four inches of rain through the Sacramento valley. Two to three feet of snow is expected to fall in the higher elevations of the mountains. 

Because of the storm, the U.S. Forest Service is preparing for mudslides and debris flow in the fire-damaged area of the Eldorado National Forest burned by the King Fire.

The fire was contained in October but left severely burned soil that's at risk from erosion. Crews are preparing culverts to prevent debris from clogging and flooding roads. Eric Nicita is a U.S. Forest Service soil scientist. He says the drought makes the potential for mudslides worse because the soil repels water rather than absorbing it.

"Currently through some of the burned areas we're dusty dry down below an inch that's going to really exacerbate some of the runoff problems that we're going to have some of the watershed issues that we're going to have," says Nicita.

Nicita says hydropower and reservoirs along the South Fork of the American River are at risk from sediments that would be carried in the runoff. Amy Quinton has more on the concerns in the King Fire-damage areas.

Meanwhile, we're getting reports from YubaNet.com that there are downed trees and large tree limbs blocking roads near Foresthill, Grass Valley, and Nevada City. In North Sacramento, there's a downed power line at Acacia Avenue and Rio Linda Boulevard. P-G-and-E crews are working to restore power in the area. 


6 A.M. Rain has arrived in Sacramento after lashing much of the Northern part of the state overnight.

The National Weather Service says some streams and creeks have been flooding in the Redding area as the storms move through. Meteorologist Mike Smith says Sacramento will see some of the hardest rain move in a bit later Thursday morning.

"Looks like the heaviest rain for the Sacramento area will be coming in about midday as the front moves inland then it will gradually move through throughout the afternoon," says Smith.

Smith says the heavy rain will be affecting the afternoon commute. The heavier wind gusts are expected to hit later this morning. This storm is expected to drop around two to four inches of rain through the Sacramento valley. Two to three feet of snow is expected to fall in the higher elevations of the mountains.

Meanwhile, the California Highway Patrol is warning motorists that driving conditions can get tricky especially with large amounts of rainfall in a short time.

Chad Hertzell with the CHP has this advice if you begin hydroplaning - that's when you're driving on standing water that decreases your braking or steering.

"Best thing they can do is let off the gas," he says. "Don't try braking too rapidly. And especially do not use your cruise control. If you that, you're not going to let off the gas, it's just going to keep going to help you hydroplane. Watch your speed, slow it down and if you see a major puddle, try to avoid it."

We're getting reports from SMUD and PG&E on power outages affecting thousands of customers across the region. There are almost 2,700 customers in Davis in the dark.  In Cameron Park about 1,700 customers without power.

5 A.M. (AP) - Pacific storms are pushing across part of the West Coast today, where residents have been stocking up on supplies and filling sandbags.

Moderate rain and gusty winds began hitting the area north of San Francisco last night, but the National Weather Service says heavier rain is expected in coming hours across the region. As much as 8 inches of rain could fall on coastal mountains over a 24-hour period.

Public schools in several Bay Area cities, including San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley, and some private schools have canceled classes for today.

Farther north, there are flood watches and warnings in much of western Washington and concerns that saturated soils will bring the risk of mudslides.

Forecasters say the storm will slowly advance toward the south through the day today and winds will also pick up. Ski resorts in the northern Sierra Nevada could get more than 2 feet of snow. The storm is later expected to pound Southern California, before a weakening as it moves east through Nevada, Idaho, Arizona and New Mexico.


For downed trees or branches in the roadway:  call 311 or 916-875-4311(trees on private property are owner’s responsibility)

For water/ drainage issues or localized street flooding: call 916-875-RAIN. 
Information on creek levels: please check out the Storm Ready website and follow the link to Stream Levels (ALERT)

County Self-Service Sandbag Filling: (Open 24 hours a day, bring your shovel, sand & empty bags will be provided for residents to fill):
-  County Branch Center, 3847 Branch Center Rd. 
-  Sacramento Metro Fire Station #112, 6801 34th St. (North Highlands)
-  Orangevale Community Center, 6826 Hazel Ave.
-  Westside Park, 6555 West 2nd St. (Rio Linda)
-  Jose P. Rizal Community Center, 7320 Florin Mall Dr. 
-  Sacramento Metro Fire Station #106, 2200 Park Towne Cir. (Arden Arcade)

Emergency preparedness, please check out the Sacramento County Emergency Ready website

For electrical power outages in Sacramento County contact SMUD at 1-888-456-7683 or PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.


Flooding Public Information Map: Flooding information and warnings from NOAA and the National Weather Service.


Sacramento County Self-Service Sandbag Filling: (Open 24 hours a day, bring your shovel, sand & empty bags will be provided for residents to fill:

  • County Branch Center, 3847 Branch Center Rd., Sacramento CA 95827: OPEN
  • Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Station #112, 6801 34th St., North Highlands CA 95660: OPEN
  • Orangevale Community Center, 6826 Hazel Ave., Orangevale CA 95662: OPEN
  • Westside Park, 6555 West 2nd St., Rio Linda CA 95673: OPEN TUESDAY 12/9
  • Jose P. Rizal Community Center, 7320 Florin Mall Dr., Sacramento CA 95823: OPEN TUESDAY 12/9
  • Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Station #106, 2200 Park Towne Cir., Sacramento CA 95825: OPEN TUESDAY 12/9

Placer County Sandbag filling, pickup:

 

Alta:

  • CAL FIRE Station 33, 33752 Alta Forestry Road

North Auburn:

  • Placer County Fire Station 180: 11645 Atwood Road
  • Higgins Fire Station, 10106 Combie Road

Granite Bay:

  • South Placer Fire Station 17, 6900 Eureka Road

Homewood:

  • North Tahoe Fire: Station 53, 5425 West Lake Blvd;

Kings Beach:

  • North Tahoe Fire Station 52, 288 North Shore Blvd, (Intersection of Highways 267 & 28)

Lincoln:

  • Placer County Fire Station 70, Lincoln, 1112 Wise Road
  • Placer County Fire Station 74, Thermalands, 8500 North Forbes Road

Loomis:

  • Loomis Fire Station 28, 5840 Horseshoe Bar Road

Meadow Vista:

  • Placer Hills Fire Station 84, 16999 Placer Hills Road

Ophir:

  • Placer County Fire Station 182, Ophir, 9405 Wise Road

Northstar:

  • Northstar Community Services District Corp Yard, 50 Trimont Lane (off Northstar Blvd)

Paige:

  • Placer County Fire Station 75, Paige, 5584 Nicolaus Road

Dry Creek:

  • Placer County Fire Station 100, Dry Creek, 8350 Cook Riolo Road

Sheridan:

  • Placer County Fire Station 78, Sheridan, 4952 Riosa Road

Squaw Valley:

  • Old Squaw Valley Fire Station, 1810 Squaw Valley Rd (at west end of valley, near lifts);

Truckee:

  • Truckee Fire Station 92, 11473 Donner Pass Road.
  • Truckee Ranger Station parking lot, 10811 Stockrest Spring Rd.

San Joaquin County:

Solano County Info

Amador County Emergency Information

Yolo County 

City of Sacramento Storm Preparation

PG&E Storm Tips

Elk Grove Public Works Sandbag Sites

City Of Roseville