Ice adds to travel woes over Donner Summit
5 p.m.: Motorists trying to travel over Donner Summit were stymied by poor visibility as well as icy road conditions.
Interstate 80 over Donner Summit was closed in the early afternoon because of zero visibility. In a video posted on Twitter about 5 p.m., Dave Wood, Caltrans superintendent for the Donner area, reported that visibility was improving, but in addition to heavy snow, graders were trying to remove an 8-inch layer of ice from the roadway. Wood said the ice made travel difficult even for four-wheel-drive vehicles.
Interstate 80 closed due to zero visibility at Donner Pass
2:45 p.m.: The California Department of Transportation reported that Interstate 80 was closed in both directions over Donner Pass due to zero visibility.
Eastbound Highway 20 also was closed at Nevada City.
Caltrans offered no estimate as to when the highways would reopen.
Update from Lyon County, Nevada
2:25 p.m.: A storm water retention basin is full and overflowing into drainages.
Voluntary evacuation lifted for Rio Linda
1:15 p.m.: A voluntary evacuation recommendation has been lifted for people in Rio Linda previously threatened by swollen Dry Creek, according to the Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services.
River gauges on Dry Creek indicate it is safe to return to homes along the stream that topped its banks overnight. Water levels are dropping.
To monitor to the water levels, go to www.sacflood.org.
Urgent flash flood warning in East Dayton, Nev.
12:40 p.m.: The National Weather Service has issued an urgent flash flood warning in Lyon County, Nev., due to “the imminent failure of the South Dayton Retention Pond in the next 30 minutes to one hour. Between 2 and 4 feet of water could inundate areas of East Dayton within 2 to 3 hours of failure.”
In a second notice, NWS Reno posted on Twitter: “FLASH FLOOD WARNING UNTIL 6:40PM. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”
Dayton is about 10 miles east of Carson City along Highway 50.
Delta levee concerns south of Highway 12
12:20 p.m.: A flash flood watch has been issued for parts of the Delta south of Highway 12 due to concerns with levees, the National Weather Service reports:
Update on the Don Pedro Reservoir
12:10 p.m.: As reported in The Modesto Bee, the impact outlook from the spillway release at Don Pedro Reservoir was brighter Tuesday than it was the day before. Turlock Irrigation District decided Monday night to reduce the flow from the floodgate to 16,000 cubic feet per second from the initial 18,000 cfs. The reduction began at 10 p.m., TID spokesman Calvin Curtin said Tuesday morning.
Updated road closure list
10:10 a.m: Sacramento County has updated its list of road closures in the unincorporated areas, including between Boys Ranch and Latrobe roads because of Deer Creek overflowing.
Lake Oroville: Inflow from storm peaked at 91,000 cfs overnight
8:58 a.m.: Water levels rose slightly overnight at Lake Oroville due to Monday’s storm, although the reservoir was still operating relatively well in the wake of last week’s near-disaster.
Inflows spiked at about 91,000 cubic feet of water per second overnight, according to state Department of Water Resources data. The lake level rose about 2 feet, to just under 852 feet. However, that was just slightly above the 850 feet considered appropriate by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood-safety regulations.
Oroville Dam’s battered main spillway was continuing to pump water out at 60,000 cfs.
“This rate of flow is consistent with DWR’s established plan objectives to continually manage lake levels, water flow, and support construction activities,” the department said in a press statement. DWR said it is still working to shore up the area beneath the dam’s emergency spillway.
“Despite current inclement weather, work continues on the area below the spillway, the monoliths, access roads and various eroded areas created by emergency spillway runoff. Rock, aggregate, and cement slurry continue to be placed into areas affected by erosion. This work will continue 24 hours a day.”
Sacramento, American rivers well below flood stage downtown
8:45 a.m.: Northern California’s major rivers were behaving themselves Tuesday morning. The Sacramento River and American River were both expected to crest at around 12 feet below flood stage in downtown Sacramento.
The Sacramento River was also expected to remain about 3 feet below flood stage at Verona, in the vicinity of the Sacramento International Airport, where a boil was discovered on a levee last week.
There were trouble spots, however, particularly in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and points south. The San Joaquin River was at the “danger stage” at Vernalis early Tuesday, according to the federal government’s California Nevada River Forecast Center. The Tuolumne River was about four feet above flood stage at Modesto, although water levels were expected to diminish throughout the day.
Dry Creek tops banks, flooding roads and prompting voluntary evacuation
7:50 a.m. Streets in the Rio Linda area were flooded Tuesday as Dry Creek overflowed its banks overnight.
The Sacramento County Department of Water Resources and the County Office of Emergency Services recommended a voluntary evacuation and flood warning Monday for residents along Dry Creek in Rio Linda.
The Dry Creek Bypass, Dry Creek East branch and Dry Creek West branch monitoring stations were reported to be at above flood stage Tuesday morning.
An evacuation center has been set up at Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd. Residents are advised not to travel down flooded roads.
It is recommended that residents move valuables to higher spots in residences, drive vehicles from flood-prone areas and protect pets from the encroaching water over overtopped Dry Creek.
Century-old rainfall record broken in Sacramento
7:30 a.m.: A record amount of rainfall fell on Monday in Sacramento.
The National Weather Service reported that 1.69 inches of rain was recorded in the official rain gauge near Sacramento State. The steady afternoon rain broke a record of 1.21 set in 1914.
Rainfall this month totals 7.90 inches in Sacramento. February, normally a wet month, averages 3.69 inches.
The past two months have been very rainy. A total of 9.85 inches fell in January.
With plenty of February still to come, a total of 17.75 inches has fallen in two months. That’s nearly a season’s average in January and February. The season’s total in Sacramento stands at 27.26 inches.
The water year in California runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. The wettest year on record in Sacramento is 1982-1983, when it rained about 37 inches over the course of the water year.
About 20 inches of rain falls in a typical water year in Sacramento.
Collapse of roadway shoulder along Highway 50 in Sierra
7:01 a.m.: A shoulder along westbound Highway 50 east of Bridal Veil Falls has collapsed and the slow lane is buckling, a condition that will surely cause Sierra travelers some slowdown.
The California Highway Patrol said that Caltrans is dealing with the roadway failure. The fast lane of westbound Highway 50 at the washout spot remains open. Eastbound Highway 50 is also open.
Meanwhile, chains are required Tuesday morning on Interstate 80 and Highway 50 in the Sierra.
Stow the umbrella after Tuesday until weekend showers
6:38 a.m.: After a showery Tuesday, the Sacramento region will be drying out before a cold storm arrives on the weekend.
The National Weather Service is calling for perhaps a tenth to a quarter of an inch of rain on Tuesday in Sacramento. After Tuesday, look for mostly sunny skies Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
The weekend could see the return of rain and snow. The extended forecast from the weather service calls for showers in Sacramento and snowfall in the Sierra on the weekend as a low pressure system drops down from the Gulf of Alaska.
Unlike Monday’s system, in which a warm, atmospheric river resulted in fairly high snowfall elevations, next weekend’s storm is expected to result in snow falling to around 2,500- to-3,000-feet elevation.
Roads under water in Sacramento region
6:20 a.m.: With many people returning to work after a three-day Presidents’ Day weekend, commuters were encountering flooded roadways.
Among the streets that were reported on the California Highway Patrol incident website to be at least partially flooded:
▪ Walerga Road at PFE Road
▪ Auburn-Folsom Road at King Road
▪ Watt Avenue at Base Line Road
▪ Barton Road at Eureka Road
In addition, at a Cal Expo offramp, where flooding was reported earlier, a pickup was involved in a crash and a light pole was down.