Weather

More rain looms as Northern California recovers from weekend storm

Video of flooding and high water levels around Sacramento

The Sacramento Fire Department released video today shortly after noon showing a flooded Northgate Boulevard and Discovery Park, as well as high water levels along the Sacramento River and at a weir feeding into the Yolo Bypass.
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The Sacramento Fire Department released video today shortly after noon showing a flooded Northgate Boulevard and Discovery Park, as well as high water levels along the Sacramento River and at a weir feeding into the Yolo Bypass.

American River Parkway to reopen

5:20 p.m. Much of the American River Parkway will reopen Tuesday, according to an update from the Sacramento County parks department.

The department said Discovery Park would remain closed, as would Gristmill Park, the PCA Bridge, and river-access parks at Howe Avenue and Watt Avenue. Gibson Ranch remains closed until further notice.

Landslide closes parking lot at South Yuba River State Park

3:55 p.m.: California State Parks announced that the parking lot at South Yuba River State Park along Highway 49 in Nevada County has been closed due to a landslide. Park officials were assessing the damage. Officials said the area remains extremely dangerous and advised people not to park along Highway 49.

Flooding closes Twin Cities Road in south Sacramento County

1:01 p.m.: The California Highway Patrol announced the closure of Twin Cities Road in south Sacramento County between Bruceville Road on the west and Pellandini Road on the east due to water lapping over the roadway. The CHP traffic incident website said it appeared water was flowing from one farm field into another.

The Sacramento County Office of Emergency Services also reported Monday that Dillard Road was closed between Highway 99 and Riley Road due to encroachment from the Cosumnes River.

Caltrans reports that several miles of Highway 128 in Yolo County are closed due to flooding and road damage caused by a falling tree a few miles east of Winters to the Monticello Dam on Lake Berryessa.

Overturned boat in Sacramento River at Tower Bridge

12:55 p.m.: Fire crews believe a boat spotted overturned in the Sacramento River by the Tower Bridge may be an abandoned vessel.

Sacramento and West Sacramento fire departments responded to a report of a partially submerged boat in the fast-moving river about 12:30 p.m. Monday. The crews worked to bring the boat to shore.

Interstate 80 open in both directions after mudslide, utility line problem

12:30 p.m.: The roadway has been cleared of mud at Donner Summit, allowing Interstate 80 to completely re-open to traffic.

Both directions of I-80 were closed Sunday night a few miles east of Donner Summit. Westbound was closed by a big mudslide, while the eastbound lanes were closed by low utility lines.

The lines were fixed early Monday morning and traffic allowed to head over the summit eastbound, but the effort to clear the lanes of westbound I-80 took a little longer.

Westbound I-80 is now open.

Eastbound Interstate 80 is open again after low utility lines were cleared in the area.

Northern California on pace for wettest year ever

Noon: In a normal water year, the Northern Sierra mountain range gets about 20 inches of precipitation by early January. So far this water year, the Northern Sierra has topped 40 inches of precipitation.

We’ve never seen that much precipitation by this point of the water year in 100 years of recorded weather, state figures show.

It’s still early. The water year runs from October through July. The biggest rainfall months remain ahead of us. The pace of rainfall and snowfall could slow.

But if the trend continues, the Northern Sierra, which feeds the Sacramento basin, could hit 100 inches of precipitation by the end of winter.

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More rain over weekend in Sacramento than during any other two-day period since 2000

11:30 a.m.: It’s been 15 years since Sacramento got this much rain, this fast.

About 3.9 inches of rain fell at Sacramento State on Saturday and Sunday, the highest two day rainfall total since 2000, state and federal data show.

Other parts of Northern California saw abnormally high rainfall totals. About 9.4 inches of precipitation fell at Wawona in Yosemite National Park on Saturday and Sunday, the highest two-day rainfall totals since 2009. Almost 13 inches of precipitation fell in the rural town of La Porte in Plumas County, the highest two day total since 2005.

River flows also reached points not seen in a decade. Water flowed through the American River at Fair Oaks at 36,000 cubic feet per second on Monday morning, the highest flows since 2006, state figures show.

Heavy rains and high winds swept across the Sacramento region and all of Northern California on Sunday, January 8, 2017. See scenes from the day, as streams spilled over their banks, trees toppled and roadways became treacherous.

Snowpack soaks up warm storm in Sierra

11:10 a.m.: The Sierra Nevada snowpack withstood the relatively warm rainstorm, to the relief of California drought experts. Some forecasters had feared that a good chunk of the snowpack, which is essential to alleviating the drought, might melt over the weekend.

"I didn't see much loss, poking around at different elevations," said Frank Gehrke of the Department of Water Resources, who leads the state's manual surveys of the snowpack.

Gehrke said it takes an extremely strong rainstorm to melt a substantial portion of the snow. This weekend's storm, for all its ferocity, didn't reach that threshold.

"It didn't really melt the snow, it kind of sank in," he said.

State statistics back that up. The snowpack was 26 percent above average for this time of year as of early Monday morning. It just about average in the northern Sierra.

Gehrke noted that the second wave of the storm, expected to hit late Monday, was expected to be colder and snowier than the weekend event. "There's still a lot going on up there," he said.

Frank Gehrke of the California Department of Water Resources said on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, that considering the amount of bare ground apparent in the Sierra Nevada not long ago, the snowpack and water content shown in the first official measureme

A well-known tree to Land Park golfers falls in storm

9:47 a.m.: One of the most infamous trees in the region, for golfers at least, is down.

It's one of the two cottonwoods that for decades guarded the green on the third hole at Land Park golf course. The two trees called for exact shot-making on the par-3 hole.

Some golfers tried to split the space between the limbs of the two trees, other shot over them and the meek (or smart?) took out a five-iron and punched a ball a short distance off the ground and hoped for a kind roll onto the green.

Now the hole will be easier with one ball-catching guardian of the green down for good.

golftreepic
One of two cottonwoods at the Land Park golf course has fallen. Tony Bizjak tbizjak@sacbee.com

Homeless man rescued from flood

9:30 a.m.: Sacramento fire crews rescued a 56-year-old homeless man Monday morning who had found himself stranded by rising waters on an island near Northgate Boulevard.

Passersby near the intersection of Northgate and the Garden Highway in north Sacramento heard the man’s cries for assistance and called 911, Sacramento Fire Department spokesman Chris Harvey said.

The man had been sleeping overnight near a slough just north of the American River.

The rescue occurred at about 9:15 a.m.

Fire crews used a rubber paddle boat to reach him and bring him in. The man was cold but appeared otherwise to be unhurt, Harvey said.

“This is not real unusual for us in this area,” Harvey said. “It is pretty low-lying; we’ll find campers that are stranded.”

Sacramento fire crews rescued a 56-year-old homeless man Monday morning who had found himself stranded by rising waters on an island near Northgate Boulevard.

Status of Russian, Cosumnes, Truckee rivers from river forecast expert

9:23 a.m.: The worst of the flooding appears to be over, even with another storm on the way.

Alan Haynes of the federal government's California Nevada River Forecast Center said Monday that most of the major rivers have begun cresting. He said some rivers could start rising again with the storm expected to begin late Monday, but he said he doesn't expect serious problems.

"I think things are manageable," he said. "This next wave - it's not as warm, it's not as wet."

In general, "a lot of the rivers have crested from the initial wave and they're receding now," he said.

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A few trouble spots remain. North Coast rivers, including the Russian River at Guerneville, are expected to continue to rise. In south Sacramento County, the Cosumnes River will resume rising with the second wave of rain, although Haynes said it's expected to crest just below flood stage.

Meanwhile, Reno's flooding from the swollen Truckee River is considered largely over. "A lot of that is pretty much crested and receding," Haynes said. "They're not expected to have any more problems."

The expected opening of the Sacramento Weir for the first time in 11 years, while a dramatic step, is about relieving pressure on levees, he said. The American and Sacramento rivers aren't expected to approach flood stage.

"They're relieving the pressure on the levees and managing those flows so it never gets to flood stage," Haynes said.

Heavy rain engorges Cosumnes River near Wilton on Jan. 8, 2017.

Century-old levee protection device to open on Sacramento River

9:12 a.m.: The gates of the Sacramento Weir, a century-old mechanism designed to relieve pressure on levees, are set to open sometime on Monday.

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Completed in 1916, the Sacramento Weir is 1,920 feet long. It consists of 48 gates, each gate with 38 vertical teeth that are a foot wide and 6 feet long.

The Sacramento Weir is manually operated. Weir operators open gates to control the Sacramento River’s flow.

Opening of the weir gates is started when the river stage at I Street reaches 29.87 feet and rising.

The weir is located about 4 miles upstream of the Tower Bridge, about 2 miles upstream from the mouth of the American River. The weir diverts Sacramento and American river floodwaters west down the mile-long Sacramento bypass to the Yolo bypass.

The heavy flows Monday on the American River will be higher than any time during California’s six-year drought, but they’re still well below record flows.

Eastbound I-80 re-opens

8:40 a.m.: Eastbound Interstate 80 is open again after low utility lines were cleared in the area.

Caltrans opened the lanes, giving motorists at least one direction over the Sierra on I-80. Westbound I-80 is still closed as crews clear away a mudslide in difficult, snow conditions.

Current Sacramento traffic conditions | Current weather conditions

Caltrans reports that the emergency contractor has made great progress overnight and almost has the 60-foot-by-one-quarter-mile long mudslide cleaned up as of Monday morning, January 9, 2017. Eastbound Interstate 80 reopened Monday morning after

Weekend’s heavy rain causes flooding, mudslides on area roadways

8:30 a.m.: The inches of rain that fell in the valley and the foothills have caused some street flooding, rock slides and closures:

▪  Garden Highway is closed because localized street flooding where it dips under I-5.

▪  Highway 16 in Yolo County is closed in Rumsey Canyon because of several rock and mud slides.

▪  Highway 20 in the Bear Valley area of Nevada County is closed because of street flooding.

▪  Highway 49 is closed in Sierra County a mile north of Downieville due to a slide.

▪  Caltrans is watching Highway 50 near Whitehall and Twin Bridges, where the American River level is getting close to the highway.

To demonstrate hydroplane conditions and how to recover, CHP Officer Dan Wright takes The Sacramento Bee for a spin on the academy's hazardous-conditions track in West Sacramento. Cut the risk of hydroplaning by reducing speeds.

Progress made on I-80 mudslide

8:15 a.m.: Caltrans is now saying they hope to have both the eastbound and westbound lanes open sometime this morning, depending on weather conditions. It is currently snowing in the slide area.

Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty issued a director's order Sunday night authorizing $500,000 in emergency money for the work.

Interstate 80 is the major east-west commercial goods corridor in Northern California, carrying trucks with hundreds of millions of dollars daily in materials and goods.

The mudslide area in the westbound lanes is approximately 60 feet wide and 600 feet long, Caltrans officials said Monday morning. It has covered all westbound lanes near Vista Point, just west of the Donner Lake interchange.

Teichert Construction mobilized Sunday night for the work.

Caltrans and California Trucking Assn. team up to employ two "pusher" trucks for stalled big rigs. A pusher truck is used to move semi-trucks out of traffic or give them the momentum needed to move through the snow after a loss of traction.

Another record day of rainfall on Sunday

8:05 a.m.: A record amount of rain for the date fell in Sacramento on Sunday. A total of 1.96 inches of precipitation was measured in Sacramento, breaking the previous mark of 1.51 set in 2001.

A total of 1.10 fell on Saturday, also a record for the date. In total, the weekend rainstorm delivered 3.06 inches of rain to Sacramento, according to the National Weather Service.

Rainfall for the season stands at 14.04 inches of rain, which is 176 percent of normal for Jan. 8.

Rosie Salazar describes how she alerted neighbors that a tree had fallen and crushed two cars on Amapola Street in Sacramento on Sunday, Jan., 8, 2017.

I-80 shut down north of Colfax

7:42 a.m.: Interstate 80 remains closed Monday morning in both directions in the mountains after mudslides and downed power lines forced closure Sunday evening.

Both the mudslide on the westbound lanes, and power line issues in the eastbound lanes are centered on the Donner Pass Road area a few miles east of Donner Summit.

Caltrans officials reported Monday that contractors made "great progress" overnight in cleaning up the slide material.

Truckee city officials were estimating it could take up to two days to fully reopen the highway. However, Caltrans officials said they have no estimated time for reopening the highway. But one official said they hope to have the westbound lanes open sometime today.

Caltrans spokeswoman Deanna Shoopman said crews are scooping up the mud and loading into trucks. Pacific Gas & Electric crews are on site, where utility poles slumped in Sunday's high-mountain rains. In some places, power lines are dangling a few feet from the ground, officials said.

However, snow is falling on the summit and that is hampering work, Shoopman said.

"That's slowing the work," she said.

Highway 50 is open Monday morning.

Caltrans shares important tips for motorists heading to higher elevations this winter. The video also introduced drivers to Caltrans' new method of identifying chain installers who have been permitted and trained by Caltrans. Public Information Of

More rain forecast for Tuesday

7:30 a.m.: A break in the weather is forecast for Monday, according to the National Weather Service. Small rivers and streams continue to run high as rain from weekend cloudbursts works its way through the flood control system.

Another shot of rain is expected Tuesday when an inch or two of precipitation could fall in the Sacramento region and about 4 inches in the foothills. Snow is forecast at the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada.

Water levels rise as rain saturates Arcade Creek.

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