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More weather rolling into Auburn

Public Works departments ready, directors say
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn can expect another wet week, and officials said they are ready to weather the storm. A new storm is expected to bring 1 1/2 inches of rain to Auburn Sunday, according to Drew Peterson, forecaster with the National Weather Service Sacramento Office. “It’s going to be extremely wet,” Peterson said Friday. “We have a fairly powerful upper low (storm system) that is just off shore. It’s going to be wet through most of the week.” Peterson said precipitation in Auburn during the week should be less than that of Sunday. Although Auburn shouldn’t expect any snow in this storm, levels could drop down to 2,500 feet and then begin rising on Sunday, and next week could be at the 3,500 and 4,000-foot level, Peterson said. Peterson said Sunday could also include some high winds and thunderstorms. Auburnites can expect temperatures around 50 degrees for next week’s highs and 40 degrees for the lows. Bernie Schroeder, director of the Auburn Public Works Department, said there are several areas that crews keep an eye on for flooding. “There are a couple of hot spots,” Schroeder said Friday. “They are typically along Auburn Ravine, typically along Auburn Ravine Road and Auburn Ravine Road … over by Church Street.” Schroeder said another flooding concern tends to be in the area of High Street, Orange Street and Hale Street. “There are (also) some areas along Ophir Road,” she said. “We don’t really have flooding problems. We have debris coming onto the road from the slopes.” Schroeder said Old Town Auburn is also a place of interest for flooding, but she hasn’t been made aware of any recently. Schroeder said to prepare and clean up after any flooding, debris or downed trees the department has a full-duty sweeper and a backup sweeper as well as sandbags, chainsaws and plenty of staff ready to go. “A lot of what we are doing is preventative,” Schroeder said. Jerry Kopp, of Uptown Signs in Downtown Auburn, said the Auburn Ravine creek runs through his backyard, but his property is not in danger because of the slope of the land. “The speed of the water and how high it rises is really something, but there is no chance of us flooding,” Kopp said. Kopp said the creek could definitely be a danger to those around it. “It just tears all the ground out,” he said. “It’s full of mud and debris. You would have no chance (of getting out of the creek). Even a good swimmer wouldn’t have a chance. If you hadn’t lived around there awhile, it would scare you.” Kopp said the creek’s level can rise or fall 2 or 3 feet in an hour depending on the weather. Ken Grehm, director of Placer County Public Works, said it’s hard to say where storm cells will hit and cause flooding, but this as well as downed trees and landslides are a possibility. “We do have the resources available to deploy wherever the need may be,” Grehm said. “We are prepared. We have people on call. We will have people out there for whatever happens.” Grehm said he doesn’t expect any real broad flooding, but Foresthill Road is sometimes an issue with rocks and debris when the ground is saturated. Grehm said he has advice for those who live near waterways. “For the local folks here, make sure your creeks are flowing well (as well as) your little drainage inlets,” he said. The California Highway Patrol knows of several areas that could pose problems during a storm, said Officer David Martinez, spokesman for the Highway Patrol Newcastle Office. “Probably our biggest one is going to be Old Auburn Foresthill Road … Foresthill Road in general,” Martinez said. Martinez said roads that don’t have barriers that make speeding possible could pose issues. “The biggest thing is people need to slow down,” he said. “There will be some water that builds up in certain areas and people need to be careful of hydroplaning.” Martinez said distracted driving, such as people talking on cell phones or texting each other about road conditions, could make traveling in bad weather more dangerous. “Keep your eyes on the road,” Martinez said. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com ------------------------------------------------------ Who to call if you have a storm-related problem City of Auburn Public Works During business hours: (530) 823-4211, ext. 0 After hours: Call Auburn Police dispatch at (530) 823-4237, ext. 1 Placer County Public Works During business hours: (530) 745-7565 After hours: Call the Placer County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 889-7800