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Storm Update: I-80 Reopens, Rain Subsides In Sacramento County

UPDATE 7:00 P.M.: The Sheriff's Office has lifted the voluntary evacuation order for Wilton and New Hope.

Roadway Impacts/Closures:

  • NB Highway 99 at Dillard Road is now open but very slow on number two lane.
  • Twin Cities Road is closed between Christensen and Pellandini Roads
  • Dillard Road is closed between Highway 99 and Riley Road
  • The intersection of New Hope Road and Kost Road is closed

UPDATE 5:15 P.M.: With the rain subsiding, Sacramento County published the following updates Wednesday afternoon.

Rio Linda:

  • The Sheriff’s Office has lifted the voluntary evacuation order for Rio Linda.
  • Due to lack of demand and changes in the weather system, the evacuation center at Rio Linda High School closed at noon.
  • Weather reports for today are less than a tenth of an inch of rain today. For tomorrow, predicting a tenth to two tenths an inch of rain.

Mokelumne River at New Hope Road:

  • There are two levee breaches on the Mokelumne River in Thornton at New Hope Road and a breach on Grizzly Slough at New Hope Road.
  • The flow of water is spilling to the east into farmland, and no residences are threatened.
  • Portions of New Hope Road near the breaches are closed.
  • Officials are continuing to work and monitor the site. 

Cosumnes River:

  • As of 11 a.m., the Cosumnes River has had overtoppings in four areas just east of Highway 99 between 99 and Wilton Road. 
  • Predictions are that Cosumnes River flows will be dropping below the flood stage at 12 feet early this afternoon.
  • Dillard Road near the river is closed with flooding now carrying onto Highway 99.
  • Sheriff and County staff will continue to monitor the river.

Wilton:

  • Due to lack of demand and changes in the weather system, the evacuation center at the Elk Grove site (Pavilions) will close at 4 p.m.
  • Weather report for Wilton—light showers today, less than a tenth of an inch of rain; tomorrow morning through noon predicting 1/3 inch of rain.

Regional Parks:

  • Gibson Ranch has reopened.

UPDATE 2:30 P.M.: Caltrans says it opened one lane in both directions on Interstate 80. Chain controls are still in effect and a 30 miles per hour speed limit is strictly enforced. 

At 2:30 p.m., Caltrans says it was holding trucks on westbound I-80 Stateline for snow removal operation. Estimated time of opening is 3:30 p.m.

ORIGINAL: Another day of snow and rain is in the forecast for Wednesday. Swollen rivers throughout Northern California are threatening to crest above flood level. Officials have confirmed that a tornado touched down in South Natomas. In the mountains, avalanche danger remains high.

Officials are also surveying the damage of an EF0 tornado that touched down along Rio Tierra Ave South Natomas at midnight.

The funnel cloud lasted less than five minutes, but the winds between 65 and 85 miles an hour knocked down a tree and some fencing near San Juan Road and Northgate Boulevard.

Brooke Bingaman is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

"The fact that a tree came down might not have necessarily been, because it was a pretty decent sized tree, but keep in mind the soils are so saturated that it would have been easy to topple a larger tree," says Bingaman.

Bingaman also says that tornadoes can happen anywhere a thunderstorm reaches certain conditions.

"If a thunderstorm is really unstable, then sometimes it will start to spin, then it will produce a funnel cloud," says Bingaman. "And when the funnel cloud actually touches the ground, that's when it's classified as a tornado."

The Weather Service sent a survey team and determined that the South Natomas tornado is classified a zero out of five on the Enhanced Fugita Scale.

About 2,000 people in Wilton were asked to leave their homes Tuesday night. Emergency crews have been working to bolster a levee where the swollen Cosumnes River is threatening the area. There were also evacuations for Cherry Ln, Curved Bridge Rd, and 6th street to Rio Linda High School due to flooding around the Dry Creek. 

Some 3,000 Sonoma County residents have been under an evacuation advisory. In Yuba County, the areas of Simpson Lane and Dantoni Road are still under evacuation due to the rising Yuba River. 

Flood warnings are in place through Thursday.

Roads and highways continue to take a beating due to wind and snow. There's a high wind advisory in effect on I-80 over the Yolo Causeway and over the Bryte Bend Bridge. 

Interstate 80 is still closed from Colfax to the Nevada State Line because of reduced visibility. I-80 is also closed eastbound to all tractor-semitrailer combinations at Applegate. The CHP confirmed two late-night avalanches on eastbound I-80 west of Donner Lake Rd. and at SR-89 south between Squaw Valley and Tahoe City.

Interstate 50 reopened as of 7:30 a.m. Wednesday after being closed for avalanche control. Chain control is in effect and avalanche danger remains very high in the mountains.

Sacramento County Map Of Road Closures Evacuation Notices:

 About 4,000 people are without power overnight in Incline Village. NV Energy says a blizzard that brought in up to a foot of snow caused the outage.

"It 's just a little bit frightening because it is really quiet and the wind is blowing and we just have so much snow everywhere," says Janet Moran, who lives in Incline. "Yesterday we spent quite a bit of time cleaning it up but we never got out. So now we have to dig out again."

The outage is expected to last until noon Wednesday. Incline and Crystal Bay are also in an avalanche warning. In the Third Creek Area, at least 19 homes are in an area with high avalanche frequency. People are being asked to shelter in place and stay away from uphill doors and windows.