USA – Floods in Northern California Prompt Rescues and Evacuations

Parts of Northern California have been inundated with rain after a storm hit on Tuesday, 07 February, 2017. Some areas have recorded almost 7 inches (177.8 mm) of rain in 24 hours.

Flooding and mudslides have been reported, including some flooding in the San Francisco Bay Area. Emergency crews have carried out high water rescues and some residents have evacuated their homes.

Weather reports say there could be more storms on the way, lasting until around Friday 10 February. This is the third series of storms to hit the state this year. The first storm in the series arrived in the week of 02 January 2017 and brought rain to northern and central California. The next storm occurred over the weekend of 07 to 08 January 2017 and brought heavy rains again to mostly northern and central California although southern California also received significant amounts.

River and Flash Flood Warnings

Flood warnings were issued for multiple counties in Northern California on Tuesday, with agencies expecting the Russian, Napa and Sacramento rivers to overflow as a result of heavy rain and melting snow. Flood warnings for all 3 rivers have since been cancelled.

As of earlier today a flood warning was in place for the Eel River at Fernbridge, Humboldt County. At 01:15 08 February, levels stood at 22.5 feet, with flood stage at 20 feet. Levels are expected to fall later today.

As of 08 February, flood warnings were also in place for Clear Lake at Lakeport and Yolo Bypass near Lisbon.

Flash flood warnings were also been issued by NWS for Southeastern Santa Clara County and Northern San Benito County.

Rescues and Evacuations

Flooding has affected around 1,000 residents in Kentfield, Marin County, north of San Francisco, after the Corte Madera Creek overflowed early on 07 February. Around 40 homes have suffered damage. Marin County Fire Department helped evacuate some of those affected.

Unofficial rainfall figures from NWS suggest that Kentfield saw 5.93 inches (150.6 mm) of rain fall in 24 hours to 16:00 on 07 February.

Local media report that a mudslide near San Rafael, demolished a home.

In San Benito County, the Sheriff’s Office issued a voluntary evacuation order for people near Pacheco Creek, one of the areas flooded during the last storms.

Nevada

The National Weather Service in Elko Nevada has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Northeastern Lander County in north central Nevada. Gauge reports on Rock Creek show a massive increase in snow melt water coming downstream toward Interstate 80 and Battle Mountain, with some flooding.

NWS said “This amount of water has not come down Rock Creek since about 1962.”

Northern California Rainfall

The latest storm system dropped around 7 inches of rain in 24 hours in Sonoma County and 6 inches of rain in Santa Cruz County. Parts of Marin County also recorded around 6 inches of rain according to the National Weather Service.

Rainfall levels below are for a 24 hour period and are from as yet unverified data listed by National Weather Service San Francisco.

Marin County

  • Kentfield – 5.93 inches (150.6 mm)
  • Middle Peak Raws – 5.84 inches (148.3 mm)
  • Woodacre Raws – 5.07 inches (128.7 mm)

Monterey County

  • Anderson Peak – 6.50 inches (165.1 mm)
  • Three Peaks – 6.46 inches (164.08 mm)
  • Chalk Peak – 6.14 inches (155.95 mm)

Napa County

  • 3 WSW Yountville – 5.44 inches (138.17 mm)

Santa Clara County

  • 6 NE Day Valley – 5.00 inches (127 mm)

Santa Cruz County

  • Ben Lomond Mountain – 6.65 inches (168.91 mm)
  • 4 WNW Boulder Creek – 6.18 inches (156.97 mm)

Sonoma County

  • Venado 7 Nnw Guerneville – 6.98 inches (177.29 mm)

Tornadoes in Louisiana

At least seven tornadoes have been reported in the State of Louisiana over the past 24 hours.  Severe weather including strong winds and heavy rain has also caused damage.  Thousands have been left without power and several people have been injured.

Severe weather may continue to affect Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and western Florida over the next 24 hours.