Just days after a storm walloped Southern California with powerful winds and heavy rain that triggered mudslides and sinkholes, a new storm is threatening central and Northern California with similar impacts.
Many rivers are at or above flood stage due to the parade of storms that have hit the state hard this winter. This latest storm will continue to spread a stream of moisture into the state through Tuesday, which could bring lengthy travel delays or even evacuations for residents who live near streams or rivers.
In the Sierra Nevada, 2 to 4 feet of snow will bury the highest elevations. The heavy snowfall could lead to a closure of Interstate 80 along Donner Pass. Chain controls are already in effect as of Monday morning as heavy snow was falling over the summit, according to the California Department of Transportation.
As of 1 p.m. PST, heavy rain was still falling across much of central and northern California.
This rain falling across areas with extremely saturated ground due to previous storms was leading to some mud slides and debris flows across the state. As a result, officials have had to close multiple roads across the region.
While rain falls across the lower elevations, heavy snow is piling up in the Sierra.
Over a foot of snow has been reported at some of the mountain passes and has lead to chain restrictions for places such as Donner Pass.
Heavy snow has also lead to a heightened risk of avalanches, forcing the closure of US 50 in California between Meyers and Twin Bridges.
#TrafficAlert Holding all traffic US 50 for avalanche control Twin Bridges to Myers. No ETO. Expect delays.
— Caltrans District 3 (@CaltransDist3) February 20, 2017
Due to the intensity of rain falling over central California, the Don Pedro Reservoir, located southeast of Sacramento, will have its controlled spillway gates opened at 3 p.m. PST today.
The spillway will be opened to avoid the reservoir from exceeding its maximum capacity of 830 feet. Those living downstream along the Tuolumne River should prepare for the water level of the river to rise when the spillway gates are opened.
ADVISORY: DON PEDRO CONTROLLED SPILLWAY GATES WILL OPEN TODAY AT 3 P.M. #DonPedroSpill pic.twitter.com/Y0xSieowZm
— TID (@TurlockID) February 20, 2017
Weather and wind has delayed flights an average of 2 hours and 55 minutes arriving to San Francisco International Airport. Los Angeles International airport is also experiencing weather delays of an average 59 minutes as of 10:05 a.m. PST.
Several mudslides have already been reported as of 9:32 a.m. PST, according to the Santa Cruz and Marin County Sherfff's offices.
Sir Francis Drake Blvd is currently closed in both directions near Samuel P Taylor Park due to mudslide and large trees in the roadway. pic.twitter.com/FfHkPRn2h6
— Marin County Sheriff (@MarinSheriff) February 20, 2017
Slow lane of northbound SR 1 is. Locked by a mudslide near Freedom Blvd
— Santa Cruz SO (@SantaCruzSO1) February 20, 2017
At 8 a.m. PST Monday, Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer was live at Oroville Dam. Officials continued to repair damaged spillways and reduce water levels at the lake. Officials said they were confident the reservoir would be able to withstand this current storm, according to The Sacramento Bee.
Flows upped from 55k to 60k cfs 2/19, in anticipation of expected increase in inflows.Increase is typical of normal flood control operations pic.twitter.com/XC1vpTpV9O
— CA - DWR (@CA_DWR) February 20, 2017
Heavy flooding continues across Northern California as spillways and rivers continue to be inundated by heavy rainfall.