Heavy rains hit Northern California, shutting down the power
Record rain on New Year’s Eve battered a dam along the Cosumnes River near Sacramento, leaving tens of thousands of Californians without power on Sunday.
Sacramento County warned Saturday night of “imminent breach of the dike‘ on the Cosumnes River near Wilton, urging residents to ‘seek higher ground immediately. KCRA-TV reported a “double levee breach” on Sunday morning.
Northern California took the brunt of the weekend. Flash floods held Main roads closed just south of Sacramento on Sunday, inclusive highway 99. Power remained cut for more than 41,000 customers as of Sunday morning.
Sunny skies offered a respite from downpours on Sunday, but another atmospheric flow tumbled across the western Pacific and was set to drench California in the coming days.
Oakland had its wettest day since 1970 on Saturday with 4.75 inches of rain. San Francisco fell 5.46 inches of rain, making Saturday the city’s second wettest day in more than 170 years, the National Weather Service reported.
The 101 freeway in south San Francisco was closed due to flooding as revelers headed out to celebrate on New Year’s Eve, but reopened a few hours before midnight.
While California’s drought is far from over, the wet weather that ended in 2022 has allowed at least some of the state’s major reservoirs to exceed their historical average water supplies.
Water leaks from the Folsom and Nimbus dams have prompted state park officials to warn of safety risks at Lake Natoma, as rapidly rising water levels create dangerously strong currents.
In Los Angeles, where heavy rain fell on New Year’s Eve, forecasters expect rain again on Monday afternoon or evening, followed by a strong Pacific storm with heavy rain and strong winds late Wednesday and Thursday.