Urban and small stream flood warning issued as strong winter storm hits capital region

High wind gusts, record-setting rainfall and flood warnings have been announced across the capital region as a result of the strong winter storm that arrived Wednesday.

The National Weather Service issued an urban and small stream flood warning for 13 counties in Northern California, including all of Sacramento and Amador Counties, southwest Placer County, west El Dorado County and parts of Yuba and Nevada Counties. The alert is in effect until 7 p.m. Thursday.

The NWS also recorded gusts of up to 45 mph at the Sacramento International Airport at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Wind gusts are predicted to range from 45 to 60 mph in Sacramento and possibly higher in the foothills and Sierra communities Wednesday night.

Residents of Sacramento, Elk Grove, Roseville, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Davis, Rocklin, Woodland and Galt should exercise caution during the flood warning, NWS said in its alert. Urban area, highways, streets, underpasses and areas with poor or backed-up drainage are prone to flooding during heavy rains, as well as small creeks and streams.

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg took to Twitter Wednesday to encourage people to go home from work early and “staying put once you get there” as the storm rolled in.

Rainfall totals have already packed a punch with Sacramento setting a record Tuesday through 5 p.m. at Executive Airport with 0.86 inches, breaking the old record of 0.61 set in 1993. On Wednesday through 5 p.m., the south Sacramento airport gauge totaled 0.48 inches, less than half the record set on Jan. 16, 1973.

Other rainfall totals from Wednesday through 5 p.m. around the region included 1.84 inches in Oroville, 2.70 inches in Paradise and 1.24 inches in Marysville.

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