California Storm – Floods Leave 1 Dead, Dozens Evacuated

Saturday’s storm across parts of central and northern California caused flooding that forced dozens to evacuate their homes. At least one person has died in the floods.

The fatality occurred in Yuba County on Saturday 05 March, 2016, when a woman drowned after the vehicle she was in entered deep flood water. Local media report that a stretch of Highway 70 was flooded and had been blocked off by police. The driver of the car ignored the blockade and drove into flood water as deep as 8 feet (2.4 metres). The driver was able to escape from the car.

In Sacramento County, a man was rescued from his vehicle after driving into this water near Elverta on Sunday 06 March. The driver was able to escape and take refuge on the roof on the roof of his vehicle until responders from MetroFire Sacramento arrived.

The storm also drenched parts of Santa Cruz County with more than 6 inches (15 cm) of rain falling in some places on Saturday 05 March 2016. National Weather Service say that Boulder Creek Huckleberry recorded 6.70 inches (16.5 cm) during 24 hours. Nearly 2 inches (5 cm) of rain fell in 2 hours in Soquel.

The heavy rain caused local rivers, including Soquel and Corralitos Creeks and the San Lorenzo River, to rise above flood stage.

The resulting floods prompted evacuations of residents near the two creeks in Capitola and along the San Lorenzo River in rural Santa Cruz. The American Red Cross set up an evacuation centre in Capitola. There were no reports of injuries or fatalities.

Further Heavy Rain and High Surf

NWS said that further heavy rain was expected from late Sunday 06 March, falling on already saturated ground. NWS warned of possible flooding and rock slides.

“the next Pacific weather system will begin to spread widespread rain across the north bay by late this afternoon and then across the remainder of the region from this evening through the early morning hours of Monday.

“Rain will likely be heavy at times starting this evening. There is a possibility of isolated thunderstorms. Heavy rain late on Saturday has saturated the soil. Therefore additional heavy rain will lead to rapid rises on rivers and streams by this evening creating flooding potential. In addition, flooding of low lying and poorly drained urban areas will be possible. Rock slides or debris flows are likely in areas of steep terrain.”

NWS also warn of very large and potentially damaging surf and moderate coastal flooding on Monday into Tuesday morning.

The say that “a long period west swell will continue across the coastal waters through tonight. An even larger west swell will arrive on area beaches Monday through Tuesday morning, bringing potentially damaging surf, minor coastal flooding and significant beach erosion to west and north west facing beaches. This will be due to a combination of the large surf with large high tides”.

Flood Summary

Last updated: July 15, 2016
California, USA, March 2016
March 5 to March 7, 2016
Flash flood, River flood
Extreme rainfall
A storm on 05 March 2016 caused flooding in Yuba, Sacramento and Santa Cruz counties, California. One person has been reported killed in the floods, several homes have been evacuated.


A - Santa Cruz county
B - Sacramento
C - Yuba county


Rainfall level
165 mm in 24 hours
Boulder Creek Huckleberry - March 5 to March 6, 2016
River level
San Lorenzo River, Santa Cruz County - March 6 to March 7, 2016
River level
Corralitos Creek, Santa Cruz County - March 6 to March 7, 2016
River level
Soquel Creek, Santa Cruz County - March 6 to March 7, 2016


1 person
Yuba county - March 5 to March 5, 2016
20 people
Capitola and along the San Lorenzo River in rural Santa Cruz - March 6 to March 7, 2016