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FLOOD WARNING

County urges readiness for rising water in creeks and streams

By: Staff Report
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Placer County emergency officials are urging residents to be prepared for rapidly rising water levels in local streams and creeks today through Sunday.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for Placer and many other counties throughout Northern California that is scheduled to remain in effect until 5:15 p.m. today. A flood advisory means river or stream flows are elevated or ponding in urban or other areas is occurring or imminent.

The NWS advisory says the storm that is moving across Northern California could cause minor flooding along streams and in urban areas that have poor drainage or are low-lying spots.

The Placer County Office of Emergency Services (OES) is urging West Placer residents who live near streams and creeks to monitor water levels closely and move to higher ground if they feel threatened. In emergency situations, residents should call 9-1-1.

Historically, streams and creeks that have been prone to flooding in West Placer include Dry Creek, Miners Ravine, Linda Creek, Auburn Ravine and Markham Ravine.

Emergency officials also are advising West Placer residents to avoid traveling to Truckee and along Highway 89 between Truckee and Tahoe City. The NWS has issued a flood warning for the Truckee River, forecasting major flooding for the Truckee Basin. The flood warning is scheduled to last from late Saturday night to Monday morning.

A flood watch issued by the NWS for Placer and other counties in Northern California is scheduled to remain in effect through Sunday afternoon. A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. The NWS expects another round of heavy rain to hit Northern California Saturday afternoon and to continue through Sunday.

OES is monitoring NWS and other storm data closely in coordination with other agencies such as the Placer County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, local cities, utility companies and fire departments.

“Local emergency agencies are doing everything they can to protect residents and their property,” said Placer County Public Works Director Ken Grehm. “Residents can help keep themselves and their families safe by taking common-sense precautions, avoiding situations that place them in danger and monitoring storm news closely.”   

OES is advising residents who live in areas prone to flooding to take preventative steps such as placing sandbags wherever needed. A list of retail outlets and bulk vendors who sell sand and sandbags is available on the county website at www.placer.ca.gov. A “Storm Information” link is located on the upper left corner of the home page.

The “Storm Information” page also has a list of fire stations and other locations where residents who live in unincorporated communities and rural areas can pick up sand and sandbags.  

Placer County officials also are urging West Placer residents to avoid driving vehicles into areas where water covers roadways. Water levels may be too deep to allow vehicles to pass safely. Residents should abandon vehicles and move to higher ground immediately if vehicles stall. Many people drown while trying to rescue their vehicles.

The Flood Control District also is advising residents to:
·    Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding;
·    Avoid trying to cross flowing streams where water is above the knees because residents could be swept away by strong currents;
·    Not sightsee in flooded areas or try to enter areas blocked off by local authorities;
·    Avoid unnecessary trips, and dress warmly and advise others of destinations when traveling during storms;
·    Monitor radio, television or online news sites for emergency information and instructions from authorities;
·    Keep vehicles fueled in case power outages interrupt service station operations;
·    Know safe routes from home or work that lead to higher ground;
·    Store drinking water in closed, clean containers in case water service is interrupted;
·    If flooding is likely and time permits, move essential items and furniture to higher ground, such as the upper floors of homes; and
·    If advised by local authorities to leave home, move to safe areas promptly before access is cut off by flood waters.