Emergency planning has kicked in to high gear after flood warnings were issued for several northern California counties including Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado and Yuba counties.
Rivers and streams already are close to capacity due to heavy rainfall in March, National Weather Meteorologist Holly Snell said. The first few days of April have continued the wet pattern. Forecasters are predicting that by the end of Tuesday, rainfall will surpass the 1.17-inch average for the month, Snell said.
A private levee broke along Tuesday morning along the south side of the Cosumnes River flooding agricultural land west of Highway 99 and the railroad tracks. The levee broke during the last flood this winter on Dec. 31 and had not yet been repaired, said Wilton Fire Chief Michael Ridley. The water is not threatening any structures.
Deer Creek near the Scott Road crossing already has passed its flood line and water has begun to flood the roadway. In Sacramento, city officials have closed Northgate Boulevard at from Highway 160 to the Garden Highway and Del Paso Boulevard from Railroad Drive to Northgate Boulevard, said city spokeswoman Linda Tucker.
In preparation for wet weather, city officials will meet Tuesday morning to discuss emergency preparedness and possible evacuation plans for specific areas, Sacramento Fire spokesman Battalion Chief Niko King said.
One area that will be discussed is a mobile home park at Camp Pollock that has flooded in the past, King said. The park is upstream from Discovery Park along the American River. When the Sacramento River reaches 27 feet, it begins to back up the American River flooding the mobile park, King said.
Up in the mountains, the Sierra have been hit particularly hard with three to four inches of rain in the past 24 hours sending water rushing downstream. The foothills received about two to three inches and the Folsom area got about an inch, Snell said.
Drenched hillsides have created mudslides across Northern California and more are likely, forecasters said. Since Monday morning, Highway 50 near White Hall has had only one lane open due to a mud and rockslide. Similar slides have occurred in Amador, Sonoma and San Francisco counties, California Highway Patrol spokesman Officer Rich Wetzel said.
The rain is expected to continue throughout Tuesday. By late morning, thunderstorms were to move in over Sacramento bringing a possibility of hail. The weather will dry up for a short time Wednesday and part of Thursday, Snell said. By Thursday night, the rain will be back, continuing on into the weekend.