month. And it’s not over yet: The National Weather Service is forecasting more strong storm systems will roll through the region in the coming week.
“We expect to see the worst of it in front of us,” Governor Gavin Newsom said Sunday.
Emergency officials are urging people to use common sense, such as avoiding travel during the storm — and not to drive through water – and heeding evacuation orders when they arrive.
Incoming storms are expected to bring continued rain, wind and the potential for power outages and flooding through the end of the week, according to meteorologists with the National Weather Service. It continues a string of five atmospheric rivers since Dec. 21 in Northern California, including:
- On Dec. 31, heavy rains breached levees along the Cosumnes River and forced flooding in several southern Sacramento County areas. At least three people have been found dead near flood zones. More than 150,000 SMUD customers lost power.
- Another system started Jan. 3. Though milder in the Sacramento region, Roughly 500,000 PG&E customers also lost power Wednesday and Thursday.
- Then on Saturday evening, more than 500,000 California homes and businesses, including 350,000 SMUD customers, lost power in a devastating wind storm. A woman was killed in Sacramento on Saturday night after being hit by a falling tree, according to the Sacramento Fire Department.
CapRadio will be providing updates on the storms here. We also have resources available to help you through the storms:
- Tips on preparing for extreme weather
- Where to find respite centers in Sacramento County
- Where to find charging centers, warming shelters in Yolo, San Joaquin, Sacramento counties
Wednesday, Jan. 11
10:55 a.m.: Downed tree damaged your house, car or business? Here’s where to get more information
Tony Cignarale, the deputy commissioner of consumer services at the California Department of Insurance, encouraged people to call the department’s hotline if they’re unsure what their policy covers and want another party aside from their insurance company to walk them through it.
“We would be able to help them navigate through that process and help them understand what their options are,” he said.
The hotline is 800-927-4357.
Cignarale also said people should inform their insurance of the damage and file a claim as soon as possible to start the process of ensuring necessary repairs can be made. Despite the increased volume of claims coming through given storm damage on property, he said, “we expect the insurance industry to have the capacity to handle these claims, and we see no signs at this point that they wouldn't be able to.”
CapRadio also put together a list of do’s and don’ts for handling a downed tree near you.
- Call 911 immediately If a downed tree has also felled a power line, as the line could still be live.
- Report the downed tree.
- Call your insurance agent as soon as possible — and take pictures of the damage.
- Wait to find a contractor who can fix damages and help with tree removal.
- Assume your neighbor is liable for paying damages if their tree fell on your property.
- Try to remove the tree yourself.
9:06 a.m.: A wet Wednesday, drier Thursday before another atmospheric river arrives late Friday, weather service says
Another atmospheric river storm is soaking already saturated parts of Northern California today, while other areas are getting a short reprieve.
Michelle Mead, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Sacramento, said Wednesday morning that the Northern Sacramento Valley could see upwards of a half-an-inch to an inch of rain.
"But the Central Sacramento Valley to the Northern San Joaquin, we are going to get a bit of a break, so that is also helping with the flooding situation," Mead said Wednesday morning.
A flood watch is in effect for the Sacramento region from 10 a.m. Wednesday until noon Thursday. Mead said Thursday and most of Friday will be relatively dry and then another, more powerful system arrives.
The area for a flood watch in place until noon on Thursday.National Weather Service
"We are expecting another [atmospheric river]," Mead said. "Not as strong as the one we're currently at but stronger than what we're going to see Thursday, Friday. So, it's going to move in late Friday night and it looks to be heaviest on Saturday and again on Monday."
Strong winds could also return, with gusts around 30-35 mph possible Saturday and Monday.
While the next system may not be as strong, there are still concerns with the amount of rain the region has seen this month. Sacramento has recorded 9.5 inches already this month, nearly three times normal levels.
"Hoping the two and a half days of a bit of a break we'll see some receding, but the sponge is full," Mead said. "The ground has got plenty of moisture and not much area for things to soak in. So continue to be alert to flooding issues."
A winter weather advisory is also in effect for the Greater Lake Tahoe Area, with snow accumulations of 2 to 5 inches. Up to 10 inches could fall in the higher elevations. Thursday will be partly sunny, but Mead said another more powerful system arrives Friday night.
"We are expecting a lot of folks to be heading up the mountain," she said. "It is a holiday weekend. So just be alert that there is probably going to be hazardous travel just with the snow and the amount of traffic that will head up."
6 a.m.: Rain returns Wednesday as flood watch remains in effect
Forecasts call for steady rain today and wind gusts as high as 34 mph in Sacramento and then another powerful weather front later this week.
☔ After a break overnight for much of interior #NorCal, light to moderate rain is returning to the region early this morning. Be prepared for a wet and breezy commute. 🌧️ #CAwxpic.twitter.com/Qsismr4oNP— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) January 11, 2023
Whiteout conditions overnight into Wednesday closed Interstate 80 at Colfax much of the day Tuesday. Caltrans announced just after midnight that the road was reopened with chain controls.
A flood watch will be in effect from 10 a.m. today through Thursday morning for much of Northern California, meaning flooding could still be possible. Another round of storms will roll in Saturday through Monday, bringing 1-2 inches of rain in the valley and up to 5-7 inches in the foothills, with 2-3 feet of snow possible in the mountains.
State officials say at least 17 people have died in the series of storms that began late last week. A pickup truck driver and a motorcyclist were killed early yesterday in the San Joaquin Valley when a tree that had been struck by lightning fell on them. More than half of California’s 58 counties have been declared disaster areas.
Tuesday, Jan. 10
6:24 p.m.: San Joaquin, Yolo among counties added to federal emergency declaration
Another 14 counties were added to President Joe Biden's federal emergency declaration Tuesday for the devastating storms hitting California after some local officials questioned this week why they were left off the original list.
The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief and provide equipment and resources. An amendment now makes it possible for Colusa, Glenn, Humboldt, Marin, Orange, San Diego, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Solano, Sutter, Tehama, Yolo, and Yuba counties to get federal disaster relief.
On Monday, Rep. Josh Harder said in a statement that it was "unacceptable” San Joaquin County was left off the declaration.
The new counties join El Dorado, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Stanislaus and Ventura.
The resources granted by the declaration can be distributed to counties not on the list, a spokesperson with California’s Office of Emergency Services told CapRadio Monday.
6:02 p.m.: Sacramento drivers still spending less time in traffic than before the pandemic
Commuters in the Sacramento region were stuck in traffic for an average of 36 hours during 2022, an increase over last year but still less than before the pandemic, according to a new report.
That fit in with most other cities in the United States, where time in traffic congestion is still down almost half from 2019, according to the 2022 Global Traffic Scorecard by the mobility analytics firm INRIX. The average driver in the U.S. spent 51 hours in traffic in 2022, up 15 hours from 2021.
Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX, told NPR that the rise in gas prices helped slow the increase back to pre-pandmeic commute levels.
"2022 was shaping up to be a year of re-emergence and a return to a new, post-pandemic behavioral norm, but that halted with the rise in oil prices, supply chain disruptions, and inflation," Pishue said.
In Sacramento, average congestion time was up 44% from 2021, but down that same amount from 2019. Those 36 hours of traffic ranked 25th in the U.S.
Chicago topped the U.S. list at 156 hours lost, with Los Angeles and San Francisco sixth and seventh at around 90 hours.
6 p.m.: Sacramento has seen over 1,000 trees fall during recent powerful storms. Here’s how Land Park is holding up
The City of Sacramento estimates that over 1,000 trees have fallen citywide during the powerful storms that have swept the region.
The devastation was particularly apparent in one of Sacramento’s largest parks, William Land Park, where trees and large branches are down in every direction, and where city crews have been working since New Years’ Day.
Fairytale Town, a children’s theme park in the center of Land Park, is estimating they’ve already spent some $25,000 removing trees that are at risk of falling or already have fallen, according to the park’s Executive Director Kevin Fagan-Smith. He added that they expect to spend thousands of dollars more to prepare for additional storms that are forecast to hit the region.
On Tuesday morning, Christiana and her son Caleb Boswell were out walking their three dogs, assessing the damage of the park they’ve been coming to for years as residents of the area.
“One of his favorite climbing trees has fallen,” Christiana said. “We have pictures of him in there when he was like seven, you know, climbing the tree. And it's gone now.”
In Upper Land Park, Jim Quessenberry stood quietly marveling at the base of the tree while his family posed for photos on the horizontal trunk of a nearby felled oak. He said he’s lived in the Land Park area for five decades.
“It's crazy. I've lived here my whole life and I've never seen this kind of devastation,” he said. “How do you replace trees that are 100 years old?”
That’s a question that has been on the mind of Fairytale Town’s Fagan-Smith as well.
At the amusement park’s Crooked Mile attraction, a 10-foot stump is all that remains of a once-giant redwood tree. Fagan-Smith said a few days after the New Year’s weekend storm, the tree started to tilt, revealing its roots and cracking the concrete path of the attraction. After removing the bulk of the tree, workers laid down fresh concrete, and Fagan-Smith said they expect the attraction will be open again on Thursday.
In the line of sight of the redwood stump, Fagan-Smith pointed out a giant pine tree that will need to be removed because of its precarious position, threatening a new $3 million dollar building. He said since the New Years storm, the onslaught of damage has just kept coming.
“It’s just continuous cuts every day,” he said. “We think, okay, well, maybe we got through the worst of it and then discover one more tree that's damaged or, you know, one more thing that we're going to have to mitigate.”
He said waiting to see what destruction the weather brings has been “uncomfortable” and “kind of terrifying.”
“You do everything you can do,” he said. “But there are some things that are out of your control. And so you just hope for the best, right?”
Fagan-Smith said that Fairytale Town is hopeful their insurance will cover the bulk of the damage, but anticipates there will be some additional “financial pain” incurred.
As for the city, spokesperson Gabby Miller said Sacramento won’t likely know the full extent of the damage until several weeks after the storm system passes. She added that city crews are currently working through a backlog of requests, prioritizing areas where life is threatened and public right of way is blocked.
William Land Park in Sacramento, Calif., on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.Kate Wolffe / CapRadio
5:06 p.m.: All Sacramento City schools to reopen Wednesday
All Sacramento City Unified School District campuses will be open Wednesday after power was restored on Tuesday to the final five schools still out after this weekend's storm.
All SCUSD schools were closed Monday after more than 350,000 SMUD customers lost power over the weekend following what the utility called the "most damaging string of storms" in its history. Monday was also the first school day following the district's winter break, which started Dec. 24.
Classes restarted for most schools on Tuesday, but five schools — John Morse, Pony Express, Rosa Parks, Success Academy and Sutterville — were still without power and remained closed. District officials said power was restored Tuesday, and classes would restart at those schools on Wednesday.
"District staff will continue to monitor the weather conditions and the impact on our schools," the district wrote in a note to parents. "If anything changes, we will update you promptly."
SCUSD was one of a number of districts throughout the region to cancel classes over the past few weeks as a string of atmospheric rivers have caused flooding, power outages and damage to buildings. Classes remained canceled Tuesday at the Stockton Unified School District, where officials said weather damage to buildings and the effect of power outages on food supplies could impact safety.
1:15 p.m.: Some Sacramento County parks, trails to remain closed through Wednesday
Sacramento County Regional Parks facilities will remain closed through Wednesday, county officials said Tuesday. That includes parks and trails, including the American River Multi-Use and Dry Creek Parkway trails.
Facilities were first closed on Monday, and officials said saturated soil from continued storm systems and high wind will likely “bring down a large number of trees.”
Outreach teams have been working to encourage folks camping along the parkway to seek shelter and other support services. Over the weekend, two unhoused people died in Sacramento County after fallen trees were found on their tents.
11:30 a.m.: Portions of Highway 80 closed in multiple locations due to ‘whiteout driving conditions,’ Caltrans says
Eastbound lanes of Highway 80 were closed in Colfax due to strong winds and “whiteout conditions” over Donner Summit just after 11 a.m. Tuesday, Caltrans officials said.
Westbound lanes were also closed near the Nevada stateline for the same reason.
‼️ ROAD CLOSURE ‼️
I-80 is CLOSED westbound at the Nevada Stateline and eastbound at Colfax due to high winds and whiteout driving conditions. No estimated time of reopening.
*for updates visit: https://t.co/nW388ezCE8pic.twitter.com/LYryEPHkVX— CHP Truckee (@CHP_Truckee) January 10, 2023
Caltrans officials say they do not know when the roadway will be back open.
11:05 a.m.: Wilton area evacuation orders lifted after weekend flooding
Evacuation orders for the Wilton area have been lifted, Sacramento County officials announced Tuesday.
The order was issued on Sunday evening, after heavy rain prompted flooding in many southern Sacramento County areas.
Over New Year’s weekend, residents attempting to leave the Wilton community encountered fast-rising water, prompting several rescue operations. At least three people died in the area due to flash flooding.
Residents returning home should stay aware of small-scale flooding and possibly hazardous road conditions, as county officials said crews are still working to clear debris and restore power.
Officials also urged residents of the area to submit damage reports to the county. That data gets sent to California’s Office of Emergency Services so it can accurately track damage.
6 a.m.: Thunderstorms Tuesday morning will bring continued flood risk
A warning for possible thunderstorms is in place for much of Northern California through 8 p.m. Tuesday, with a potential for severe storms from south Sacramento County through Stockton and Modesto until 8 a.m.
Those thunderstorms will contribute to continued flood risks in the region, with a flood advisory in place until 8 p.m. Tuesday. A wind advisory is also still in place until 1 p.m. Tuesday.
⚠️ A Flood Advisory has been posted for a large portion of the Sacramento Valley, northern San Joaquin Valley and surrounding foothills until 8 PM. Thunderstorms with heavy rain will lead to areas of roadway flooding and renewed rises on area creeks and streams. #CAwxpic.twitter.com/HIcYwCVJxq— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) January 10, 2023
"Thunderstorms with heavy rain will lead to areas of roadway flooding and renewed rises on area creeks and streams," the weather service wrote in a tweet.
Another round of extreme weather rolled through the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys early Tuesday morning, including warnings of severe thunderstorms and even possible tornadoes.
Around 3:30 a.m., the National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for most of the Sacramento Valley from the city of Sacramento stretching northeast into Citrus Heights and Roseville. There were reports of strong wind, rain and lighting.
The winds contributed to a big rig crashing on the Yolo bypass traveling south on Interstate 5. According to Caltrans, part of the overblown rig was hanging off the side of the bypass, blocking southbound lanes. As of 6 a.m. there is no estimate on when the southbound lanes will reopen.
Southbound I-5 on the Yolo Bypass, lanes blocked by overblown big rig reportedly hanging off the bypass. No ETO. @YoloCountyCA pic.twitter.com/oujtNXgHUy— Caltrans District 3 (@CaltransDist3) January 10, 2023
There was also a tornado warning for parts of Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Calaveras and Tuolumne, starting around the city of Modesto and stretching northeast to Copperopolis. According to the weather service, both severe weather warnings ended around 4:45 a.m.
Across California, more than 220,000 homes and businesses remain without power according to poweroutage.us, including 22,000 in Sacramento County, 11,000 in El Dorado, 5,00 in Placer and 3,000 in Yolo.
Monday, Jan. 9
5:38 p.m.: Most Sacramento City Unified schools will reopen Tuesday
The Sacramento City Unified School District will reopen most schools Tuesday, but five campuses without power will stay closed for at least another day.
The five schools that will remain closed are:
- John Morse Therapeutic Center
- Pony Express Elementary
- Rosa Parks K-8
- Success Academy
- Sutterville Elementary
"We are in close contact with SMUD and do not have a timeline for the full restoration of power at those five affected campuses," the district wrote in a communication to families on Monday evening.
Sunday night, district officials announced that all schools would be closed Monday following a weekend where 350,000 SMUD customers were without power following extreme winds of up to 70 mph that downed dozens of trees across the city. At that time, six schools were without power.
5:28 p.m.: California Water Resources working to get ahead of possible flooding
Rain will continue to pour over California throughout the week. On Monday, the state Department of Water Resources updated its response and its actions to prevent further flooding.
Water Resources is working on several areas of concern such as Bear Creek in Merced County, the Russian River in Napa and Carmel River in Monterey.
Jerry Arrich with DWR’s flood management said the Cosumnes River near Sacramento is also a concern. Levees on the river have already failed, and around 3,500 residents in Wilton are under evacuation orders.
“We have about five [California Conservation Corps] crews that are out there placing flood-type material on about 4,000 linear feet of levee to protect further erosion due to overtopping,” Arrich said.
Arrich said more support is reaching other counties as well.
“We’ve coordinated the delivery of flood-fight materials and equipment to a total of 13 counties across the state," he said. "We’ve provided over 180,000 sandbags, six flood fight containers, and then a total of 3,000 linear feet of reinforcing muscle wall.”
DWR Director Karla Nemeth said that in spite of the rain, California reservoirs are only averaging 44% of capacity.
“This really is another climate signal, in that, California is experiencing coincidentally a drought emergency and a flood emergency,” Nemeth said.
4:45 p.m.: A wind advisory takes effect Tuesday morning
On Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service station in Sacramento issued a wind advisory for 4 a.m. and 1 p.m. tomorrow.
A Wind Advisory is in effect for 4 am - 1 pm tomorrow. If you haven't already, be sure to secure any loose items. It's always good to prepare for power outages since trees & power lines could fall easier in saturated soils. #CAwxpic.twitter.com/0OZPA2xGfS— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) January 9, 2023
These gusts are expected to reach anywhere between 25 and 35 mph, which is less severe than wind speeds recorded on previous nights, which caused extensive damage. On Saturday evening, the weather service reported that their monitors at the Sacramento International Airport recorded winds just over 70 mph.
Courtney Carpenter, a warning coordination meteorologist with the Sacramento station, said that damage can still happen with less severe winds.
“Anything over 30 to 35 miles an hour could potentially be dangerous if you're at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Carpenter said.
She added that the last couple weeks of rainfall and otherwise stormy weather makes impacted areas more vulnerable.
“All those antecedent conditions can cause more widespread damage than [what] might typically occur at that wind speed,” she said.
The weather service advised residents to “secure any loose items” and prepare for possible power outages.
4:30 p.m.: Nonprofits work to help flood evacuees at Elk Grove evacuation center
Around 3,200 to 3,500 people who live in the Wilton area in south Sacramento County remained under evacuation orders because of imminent flooding risk Monday. About a dozen people stayed at an evacuation center in Elk Grove on Sunday night, according to the county, and nonprofits continued supporting evacuees Monday afternoon.
Debbie Schoeneshoefer is on the board of the Elk Grove Homeless Assistance Resource Team. She left the center set up at the Sacramento Asian Sports Foundation on Monday to buy pants for a man inside. Schoeneshoefer said she thinks the man is experiencing homelessness.
“Sometimes their clothes honestly just wear out and he's handicapped,” Schoeneshoefer said. “He's basically been laying in his cot with a blanket over him. So, with dignity, he needs to have some clothes.”
The evacuation center is open to anyone who needs it, no matter their circumstances and regardless of if they live in the Wilton area or not, Red Cross spokesman Steve Walsh said. People can come in to take a break from the weather, get a meal and stay overnight if they choose.
Walsh took it as a positive sign that about a dozen people used the center Sunday night. The center has a capacity of about 160 people.
“What that tells me is that most of the people that needed to be evacuated have a safe place to go, which is good news,” Walsh said.
The American Red Cross Gold Country Region is managing the center, county spokesperson Janna Haynes said in an email. Sacramento County is funding it and coordinating logistics, Haynes added. The evacuation center opened Sunday, after the county closed the Wackford Center site, which 40 people used from Dec. 31 through Jan. 8.
The county issued the evacuation order for the Wilton area on Sunday. Sheriff's deputies knocked on doors and the county sent emergency alerts, but Haynes said the county won’t force people to leave.
“Wilton, they grow [a] tough breed out there and a lot of them will stay in their houses,” Schoeneshoefer said. “They have elevated houses anyway. But I do know, too, that they are on a levee system. So, that can change very, very quickly and very dramatically.”
Rotary District 5180, which covers the greater Sacramento region, planned to send volunteers to help run the Elk Grove evacuation center Monday night. Karen Cendro, district governor for the local Rotary, also said the organization plans to help serve meals at a weather shelter set up at the Hart Senior Center in Sacramento.
2 p.m.: More counties likely to be added to federal emergency declaration, state emergency officials say
Monday’s federal emergency declaration listed 17 California counties as eligible for assistance due to storm impacts. The announcement caused some upset in San Joaquin County, which was not named among those listed.
“It is unacceptable that once again Washington and Sacramento have left San Joaquin County behind,” Rep. Josh Harder said in a statement on Monday. “Our streets are flooded, our schools are closed, and still we’re ignored.”
Brian Ferguson, a spokesperson with the California Office of Emergency Services, said this list was compiled and sent to the federal government on the evening of Jan. 8. It was created with the assistance of information sent over from the National Weather Service that indicated areas that seemed potentially “most at-risk” at the time the request was sent.
Ferguson said that the initial request does not cover all counties that have been impacted by recent storm systems, and is meant to serve as a starting point ahead of future requests.
“We do anticipate, just because of the widespread nature of this event, that we'll continue to see additional counties added on in the coming days,” he said. “Our guess is that eventually, a pretty wide swath of our state will be under this federal emergency declaration.”
Ferguson said the declaration was made preemptively, before the next wave of the storm occurred overnight. He said the decision was made in order to get resources to affected areas as quickly as possible.
“While this was an initial take on who we thought would be most impacted, the goal is that ultimately wherever the storm hits, wherever the need is, we're going to try to direct as much aid as possible to those communities,” he said.
The resources granted by the declaration can reach beyond county lines, Ferguson added. While more counties will likely be added to the declaration in coming days, he said that doesn’t stop the state from using emergency funds to help counties that were not listed.
“We now have more resources in the state, we have more financial ability, and we can deploy that wherever it's needed, regardless of geography,” he said. “Disasters don't stop at county lines, and neither do we.”
1 p.m.: Flooding forces closures along westbound Highway 80 in North Highlands
Portions of westbound Highway 80 in North Highlands were closed Monday morning due to flooding.
Caltrans closed all westbound lanes between Longview Drive and Winters Street at around 9:15 a.m. One lane was reopened to let motorists pass at 11:15 a.m., and all lanes were reopened just before 12:25 p.m.
Here’s a live look at traffic backing up on westbound I-80 at the I-80-Business 80 split. Flooding has closed WB I-80 between Longview Dr& Winters St. Use alternate routes. @CHP_Valley@CaltransHQ@SacCountyCA@CHPNSac@RideSacRTpic.twitter.com/wWJzul1mNa— Caltrans District 3 (@CaltransDist3) January 9, 2023
10:45 a.m.: Unhoused man dies after tree found on his tent in North Highlands, officials say
A 61-year old man died in North Highlands on Sunday after being found with a tree on top of his tent, Sacramento County officials announced Monday morning. He was unhoused at the time of his death.
Another woman died Saturday after a tree fell and injured her in the River District. Emergency officials responded to the scene Saturday night and tried to resuscitate her, but she later died at a hospital. County officials said she was also unhoused.
9:15 a.m.: President Biden declares emergency in California
High water and storm damage in Wilton, Calif., Monday, Jan. 9, 2023. Sacramento County announced an evacuation order around the area due to flooding concerns.Andrew Nixon / CapRadio
On Sunday, President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration due to the series of atmospheric rivers still hitting California, opening up federal resources to assist storm response.
The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief and provide equipment and resources. The declaration is for the counties of El Dorado, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Stanislaus and Ventura.
California has been hit with five atmospheric rivers over the past three weeks, fueled by bomb cyclone events off the pacific coast, which are expected to continue through the end of this week. The storms have toppled trees, cut power to more than half a million homes and businesses this weekend, and killed at least 12 people, Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a press conference on Sunday.
6 a.m.: High winds, flooding remain likely Monday
A flood advisory is in place for much of Northern and Central California until 6 p.m. Monday as another atmospheric river rolls through the region this morning.
⚠️ A Flood Advisory has been posted for a large portion of the Sacramento Valley, northern San Joaquin Valley and surrounding foothills until 6 PM. Moderate to heavy rain will lead to rises on area creeks and streams, and areas of roadway flooding. #CAwxpic.twitter.com/uyteGerKvp— NWS Sacramento (@NWSSacramento) January 9, 2023
That advisory means "a strong probability of urban and small stream flooding from excessive rainfall" according to Chris Hintz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.
Monday's storm is the fifth atmospheric river to hit the state since Dec. 21, which Hintz said is unusual.
"We see typically we get anywhere from 4 to 6 throughout the winter. And we're seeing that many in a much shorter period of time and as a result, where we're dealing with flooding issues."
There is also a high wind warning in effect until 2 p.m. Monday for much of Northern California west of the Sierra Nevada, with wind gusts up to 45-65 mph possible.
Still, winds were not as extreme Sunday night into Monday as they were this weekend, when as many as 350,000 SMUD customers lost power. That number was down to 48,000 as of Monday at 6 a.m.
The wind and rain are expected to make travel difficult throughout Northern California Monday, and emergency officials are asking people to be cautious on the roads and avoid travel if possible. Here are some impacts already happening:
- Sacramento City and Stockton Unified school districts have canceled classes Monday.
- SacRT light rail service is disrupted, with the Gold and Greens lines temporarily suspended and Blue Line with a bus bridge from Arden/Del Paso to Cosumnes River College stations.
- Sacramento County has issued an evacuation order for residents near Wilton. Find an evacuation map here.
- The county has also opened Hart Senior Center at James Marshall Park, 915 27th St., as an evacuation center for those needing shelter from the storm. Transportation is available for those that need it and pets are accepted. Call 2-1-1 for more information or to request transportation.
Hintz with the weather service said we're not in the clear yet, either. Another storm system will hit the region on Tuesday, bringing more rain and possibly thunderstorms.
"More heavy precipitation, although it looks like the brunt of it is probably going to be focused more into central portions of California," Hintz said.
That will be followed by more possible storms on Wednesday, Thursday and into the weekend, though potentially weaker than the recent atmospheric rivers.
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