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Storms Move Out of Sacramento Valley

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, December 3, 2012

Updated: 8:30 a.m., December 3

Forecasters are calling for mostly clear skies in the Sacramento Valley today, with a chance of showers returning this evening. Rain is likely in the lower elevations tomorrow.

Utility crews were busy replacing downed lines and clearing clogged drainage systems as the water recedes and the skies cleared Sunday afternoon.

Many trees fell victim to the high winds and soaking rains, with at least two trees falling on the Campus Commons Golf Course over the weekend.

Note: The National Weather Service website was not functioning properly this morning.

Storm Resources:


Updated 8:30 p.m, December 2 

Flooded streets, downed trees, heavy rains and high winds caused a number of disruptions to normal life in Northern California over the weekend. 

According to the National Weather Service parts of Northern California and the Sierra received more than 15 inches of rain in the past seven days.

PG&E says there were 125,000 of its customers were without power Sunday morning. By Sunday evening, crews had restored service to about 100,000 customers. 

Lynsey Paulo with PG&E says more help is on the way, "Because the storm's moved through now, a lot of our crews from the less-impacted areas -those include Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo, and Fresno- they've moved to our harder-hit regions which are actually further north."

The northern Sacramento, Russian and Eel rivers had minor flooding.  Don Rasmussen with the California Department of Water Resources says the reservoirs had plenty of capacity to keep flooding to a minimum, "Oroville had like a million-and-a-half acre feet more storage more than what we require and I think Shasta was on the same order."

Sacramento County says at least eight homes flooded.  Regional Transit says an oak tree took out rail service between Folsom Boulevard and Blue Ravine Road.  And in Colusa County, Cal Trans reports a combination of rain and charred earth from this summer's fires caused a mudslide that closed Highway 16. 

The National Weather Service says there is a chance of rain for Monday evening, with rain likely on Tuesday for Northern California and then a possibility of showers on Wednesday.

Updated 2 p.m., December 2
The heavy rains and strong winds that have soaked and buffetted our region since Thursday have moved out of the Sacramento area. The National Weather Service forecast calls for a 50 percent chance of rain this afternoon and just a 20 percent chance tonight.
High temperatures Sunday will be near 65, with an overnight low around 45 degrees.
Look for mostly sunny skies Monday, with highs near 61 and light winds. 
The California International Marathon went on as planned, with many runners donning ponchos or trash bags during the heaviest rains. Some localized flooding was reported, as well.
Flooded parking area and driveway at Bella Vita Apartments near Hurley and Fulton Sunday afternoon.

Fans were prepared for the weather as they cheered runners in the California International Marathon at the corner of Munroe and Fair Oaks Sunday morning.

Updated 10:45 a.m., December 1

The National Weather Service forecast is calling for continued stormy weather through the weekend, with the worst conditions expected to hit the Sacramento area Saturday night. 

Gusty winds, as high as 40 mph are predicted for the early hours of Sunday. The chance of precipitation remain at 100 percent through the weekend, with some periods of heavy rain expected. 

"Our biggest concern is what's coming in tonight," said Stefanie Henry, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Sacramento. "Expect winds up to 40 miles per hour.

Snow level in the Sierra Mountains is averaging between 7,000 and 7,500 feet.

Related Sacramento Bee story

Read more here: http://blogs.sacbee.com/breaking_news/2012/12/another-day-another-storm-the.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter#mi_rss=Latest News#storylink=cpy

Updated 4:40 p.m., November 30

The second wave of storms has cleared the Sacramento Valley.  On the way through, the storms caused some small stream flooding and power outages. 

Pacific Gas and Electric says it still has about 1,400 customers in the greater Sacramento area without power.   Brandi Ehlers with PG & E says the company believes the worst is over for today, but expects more of the same this weekend, "Particularly on Sunday, a lot of the areas affected will be in the Sacramento Valley as well as the foothills.  So, we are resting up some employees and having them prepared to be available throughout the weekend "

About 800 homes and businesses in the Auburn area were without power as of 3 p.m.  Another 300 people are without power in the Suisun City area.

According to the California Department of Water Resources, Sacramento has received just under two inches of rain in the last 24 hours. The Auburn area has received 3.5 inches.

Updated 12:45 p.m., November 30

The effects of the storm have been mostly related to power outages, small stream flooding and falling trees.   

The storm may have been responsible for one fatality.  A PG&E driver was killed in an early morning traffic accident.

PG&E reported 4,300 outages at 8:30 a.m. and 6,360 outages at 12:30 p.m.  A number of holiday activities have been postponed in the Sacramento area, including the West Sacramento tree lighting scheduled for Saturday.


Updated at 7:37am, Nov. 30

Northern California is getting pummeled with heavy rains and high winds this morning as the second in a series of major storms moves through the area. Stefanie Henry with the National Weather Service in Sacramento said "flood warnings" are also in effect.

"We're mostly concerned about the urban and small stream flooding since there is significant rainfall falling in the area. Most of this is happening to the north of Sacramento. So we're not too concerned with Sacramento itself although we could see some ponding on the roads and nuisance flooding," she said. 

Henry added that this current band of rain is expected to move out of Sacramento later this morning…

"…and hopefully we'll see just a little bit of light showers from then on. And then another band is forecast to come through on Saturday night and continue into Sunday morning."

Southerly wind gusts of around 40 mph have been recorded this morning…and in some spots, 55 mph.

Currently, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District's power outage map is showing only a few outages affecting nearly 500 customers in Folsom and North Highlands. In Reno and Sparks, Weather Service officials are warning people about the potential of flooding along the Truckee River.


Updated at 10:31am,  Nov. 29

A fast-moving storm has passed through Northern California, and David Rowe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, says there's more rain to come. 

"It looks like we have about three more waves to go through. They'll be tonight through Friday morning," he said in a phone interview.

Rowe says the quick-moving storms will be followed by more rain Saturday, and then the final event hitting Saturday night into Sunday. He says Downtown Sacramento may get nearly six inches of rain by the time the system finally moves out of the area.

"Right now we're estimating an additional about 4½-5 inches or so…and that's on top of about the half-inch that we had yesterday,"  he said. 

Because of all the rain, the National Weather Service is warning of possible flooding of small rivers and streams by tomorrow and into the weekend.

Gusty winds between 35 and 45 mph on Friday and Saturday could also bring down trees and fences and cause power outages.  


Updated at 2:45pm, Nov. 28



Posted Nov. 28

Meteorologists says the most intense rainfall will likely come Thursday evening through Friday night.  The northern half of the Sacramento Valley may see up to 7 inches of rain.  Shasta county and the Feather River Basin could receive as much a foot. 

George Cline with the National Weather Service says that in the Sierra foothills the heavy rains could cause erosion and mudslides:

"Particularly in the burn areas, the recent fires we had over the past summer.  With this much rainfall occurring you're going to see a lot of mudslides in the typical canyon areas."

Cline says poor drainage areas could also see flooding. Heavy winds can also bring down trees and cause power outages. 

"You got anything loose outside, better tie it down or bring it in."

PG&E says even people with smart meters should call to report outages.  The company recommends being prepared with battery-operated flashlights. 

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