Northern California is bracing for heavy rainfall of up to 3.5 inches, with a potential flood alert due to the passage of an atmospheric river, as predicted by the National Weather Service (NWS). The flood alert will be in effect from 4:00 in the morning this Wednesday and will remain until early next Friday. The rains are expected to leave up to 3 inches in the Sacramento Valley region and up to 3.5 inches in the foothill areas of the mountain. Possible flooding could affect streets and avenues in urban areas, due to the growth of streams and water currents. The areas where flooding is expected include Sacramento, San Joaquin, El Dorado, Calaveras, Amador, Placer, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Butte, and Tehama.
The NWS forecast winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts of 40 to 55 miles per hour. These winds will affect the entire corridor from Redding to Modesto, according to the forecast starting tomorrow and until Thursday, February 1. Authorities asked to be careful and secure objects that could fly away, and warned drivers about difficult road conditions, in addition to risks of falling trees and branches. The NWS also asked residents in the area affected by the passage of the atmospheric river to prepare for possible blackouts.
The passage of the atmospheric river through the region will also bring snowfall with greater impacts for the cities and roads of the Sierra Nevada. NWS warned of heavy snowfall that will affect from 3,000 feet in altitude, with impacts on travel times and risk of slides on the roads. Authorities also asked drivers to prepare, as the installation of chain controls is expected.
One of the risks that the NWS warned for the next few days are blackouts and these are some recommendations so that you are prepared: Make an emergency kit with a 100% charged cell phone, flashlights, a weather radio, blankets and thermal clothing. Disconnect your appliances, keep refrigerators closed, do not use the gas stove to heat your home, and make a report as soon as possible.
If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, you will need to be prepared for possible evacuation. Gather supplies for several days after the disaster for everyone in your home. Don’t forget to consider the unique needs of each person or pet. Prepare a basic emergency kit that contains the items you may need. Also bring with you hygiene products, several changes of clothing, a portable cell phone charger and spare cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, fresh drinking water and pet food.
Secure garden items that can blow away in the wind. Additionally, you should keep an eye on tree branches. If you are experiencing downed trees or branches on the road, you can contact the county or call 311 (or 916-875-4311 if calling from outside the area). Avoid flooded streets. If you see puddles on the road or any traffic hazards due to the storm, do not drive through them, it is better to turn around and find an alternate route or return to a safe place while it passes. When it rains, reduce the speed of your vehicle.
Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Never heat your home with any type of grill or broiler, propane heater, or any other combustion equipment due to the risk of poisoning. Use heaters designed for indoors. In case of a power outage, use flashlights and not candles. Always have spare batteries on hand, as well as a portable radio to stay informed. Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed to preserve food. Talk to friends and family about how they will communicate before, during and after a storm. Care for the elderly and people with medical conditions. Do not leave pets outdoors. Call 211 if you have questions.
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Weather, Environment, Travel