Emergency services personnel on the eastern end of Placer County are advising residents and visitors that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting that the Truckee River, along Highway 89 and near the Placer/Nevada County line, may exceed flood stage. NOAA is predicting the river will reach near 8 feet between 3:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Sunday. Flood stage for this portion of the river is 4.5 feet.
A series of very wet storms is affecting the Northern California area, beginning with a storm that arrived Wednesday afternoon. The storm predicted to arrive Saturday afternoon and continue through Sunday is expected to bring periods of heavy rain to the Sierra. Snow levels with the system will start near 7,500 to 8,000 feet and may rise as high as 10,000 feet early Sunday morning. Snow levels will lower Sunday, but may not fall below 8,000 feet until Sunday afternoon.
Rainfall amounts of three to five inches are possible from the Lake Tahoe Basin northward to western Lassen County, with higher amounts up to seven inches along and west of Highway 89. The rapid rise in flow and water levels is due to intense rainfall over a short period of time on already saturated ground. Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause elevated levels on small creeks and streams and ponding of water in developed areas, highways, streets and underpasses, as well as other poor drainage areas and low lying spots.
Emergency officials are advising residents, visitors and all motorists:
· Not drive a vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. The water depth may be too great to allow your vehicle to cross safely;
· To pay special attention in areas beneath recent burn scars as these areas will be susceptible to debris flow;
· That the high water levels and flow rates are dangerous and may produce flooding and damage to homes and property along the Truckee River in the Highway 89 corridor;
· Residents in affected areas should take active precautions, monitor conditions closely during the period noted above and evacuate the area if needed; and
· Sand and sandbags are available at the following locations:
o Old Squaw Valley fire station, 1810 Squaw Valley Rd.
o North Tahoe Fire Station 52, 288 North Shore Blvd, Kings Beach (Intersection of Hwys 267 & 28);
o Truckee: Truckee Fire Station 92, 11473 Donner Pass Rd., and Truckee Ranger Station parking lot, 10811 Stockrest Spring Rd.
If you are in an area that may be affected by rising water, take the following steps:
· Make an evacuation plan:- what to take, where to go, how to stay in touch;
· If you think you might need to evacuate, go. If you delay you will probably be trapped;
· No matter what happens, STAY OUT OF THE WATER! Debris in flood runoff and high flows make it extremely dangerous to attempt to retrieve objects or rescue people; and
· Stay calm, think clearly and be decisive. When in doubt, call 911 and ask for help.
Sand and sandbags are available at various locations throughout Placer County and Truckee. For a complete listing, please visit this website: http://www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/CEO/Emergency/Sand%20and%20Sandbag%20locations.aspx
Placer County has created a storm information page that will be updated as information becomes available. That page can be found at: http://www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/CEO/Emergency/StormsNov2012.aspx