CALIFORNIA (USA) — A lot has happened in the last week, which we posted on March 9, 2023. We are including major incidents and responses with the incredible, heroic, and amazing people behind those helping those in great need.
MORE STORMS APPROACHING
“As another atmospheric river heads toward California, it’s important to remember how strong flood waters can be. Keep yourself and your family safe by not driving through flood waters or around barriers.” – CA OES
Open Shelters and Resources
According to the CA OES offices, there are currently 30 shelters open across 12 counties. There are about 480 people in these shelters. To find more open shelters, please visit this site at wp.me/pd8T7h-7XS
Source: CA OES
Swiftwater Rescue – The CAL FIRE/Butte County Swiftwater Rescue Team has been activated through the CAL OES. They are en route to the Paso Robles and will be part of Staging. If water rescues are needed, they will be dispatched by the Incident Commander to respond to each call. | Source: CAL FIRE/Butte County
Oroville Dam Water Overflow – DWR continues to release water from Oroville Dam to the Feather River for flood control protection to downstream communities. Yesterday evening, release totals from the spillway were slightly increased from 8,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 8,500 cfs. Total releases to the Feather River amount to 15,000 cfs, but may be adjusted as wet weather continues. | Source: CA DWR
Road Closure – Copperopolis — The Calaveras County Public Works Department has closed the Copper Cove Drive between Black Creek Drive and Cheyenne Road in Copperopolis due to severe road damage and flooding. It will be reopened after repairs are made. There is currently no ETA as to when that will occur as the flooding is still severe in the area. | Source: CCPWD
Swiftwater Task Force Assessing Infrastructure — On March 11th, members of the Swiftwater Team 8 from the San Diego Fire Department conducted assessments of bridges in Inyo County, while supporting other agencies assisting with the important documentation of what these California adverse storms have brought to the area, as well as impacting major parts of the infrastructure. | Source / Photo Credit: CA OES
Water Rescue Underway After Man Tries to Drive Through Flooded Road – Today, the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office Swift Water Dive Rescue Team (SDRT) conducted a swift water operation on Road 108 north of Avenue 364 after a driver tried to drive across a flooded roadway. The car was swept onto the shoulder of the road and into a culvert full of fast-moving water. Although the driver was trapped, he was able to call 911 for help. The TCSO Swift Water Dive Rescue Team responded a short time later and successfully removed the driver from the fast-moving water unharmed. TCSO would like to remind people to abide by road closure signs and never try to cross flooded roadways. (3/12/2023 1130PT)
Community of Pajaro
The community of Pajaro is still under mandatory evacuation orders due to a levee break. The public should continue listening to local authorities regarding evacuation orders & flash flood warnings when issued. DWR flood fight specialists and the Division of Engineering are working with Monterey County to support the emergency work on the levee break. | Source: CA Department of Water Resources
While many eyes have been on the Pajaro River, the Salinas River in south Monterey County is growing and is now peaking in King City.
Evacuation warnings issued — Evacuation warnings and orders remain in place and may change as the high waters move through the valley. The river has flooded homes and businesses around the community of San Ardo. There was one air rescue today, to assist a subject stranded in the middle of the river near Jolon Road. | Source: Monterey County
Flood warnings issued — Monterey County is on flood watch for the next few days. Now’s the time to prepare for wind and rain impacts from the next Atmospheric River. Increased potential for more flooding and downed trees on Monday night into Tuesday. | Source: Monterey County
Joint County Fire Response
A joint and collaborative effort is conducted between those with the Placer OS and CAL FIRE/ Placer County Fire
Department to remove snow from high-hazard buildings with heavy snow loading around North Tahoe.
Source: CAL FIRE Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY – Watsonville
Donations & Shelter — Fairgrounds Shelter has opened additional room to accept donations. Donate to cfmco.org/StormRelief
Road Closure – Hwy 1 to Hwy 129 – There is a full closure on Highway 1 from Salinas Road to Highway 129/ Riverside Drive in Watsonville due to flooding from the Pajaro River. It’s recommended drivers stay completely away from the area. Other roads in both counties are likely to see additional impacts. | Source / Photo Credit: Caltrans District 5
Donations / Food – We are continuing the coordination efforts to collect and distribute goods donated to surrounding mountain communities. If you would like to donate, call the Storm Information Line at (909) 387-3911, and press 2. | Source: SBCounty Government
Oakland US&R California Task Force 4
Overnight Task Force 4 Firefighters worked in the City of Pajaro, CA. (East of Watsonville) The city’s Levee broke around 2 am. Our water rescue Firefighters have taken people out via boats with fast water that is chest high. The team has been working together with the community providing many rescues and resources | Source / Photo Credit: Oakland USAR CA TF 4
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY
Storm Info Line – Today, our Storm Information Line has received 6,513 calls; 96 of those calls have been for prescription delivery assistance. We continue to provide you with assistance in getting you the resources you need. | Source: San Bernardino County Government
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
Flood Watch – A flood watch has been issued for those in the Santa Barabara County area from 0900 hours PT on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, through 0500 hours PT on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. The County OEM office is asking folks to avoid low-lying and flood-prone areas, areas with standing water, and areas near creeks or streams. Updates can be found at readysbc.org. | Source: Santa Barbara Government
Springville Sees More Than Expected — A friend of mine lives in the Springville area and has a husband in the hospital. She lives in higher elevations and is literally snowed in with road closures but she is relatively okay. Her husband has been in the hospital and she has not been able to see him due to the adverse road conditions,etc. Family has stepped in to help her but she says lots of people in the Porterville area have and/or are losing their homes to flooding. The river is raging and angry. It’s the highest, I have ever seen it. A lot of trees have come down and fallen in the area and into the river. It rained all night long. Hwy 190 has been shut down. The River was very high at the bridge at the golf course. | Source: Writer Friend in Springville/Eyewitness Account from Area Resident
Road Closure – SR 120 – SR-120 closed from Hardin Flat Rd. to South Fork Tuolumne Bridge due to a road washout. Caltrans is working to repair the undermined roadway. No ETO at this time. Get current traffic & road closure info. | Source: Tuloumne County DOT Website: http://Quickmap.dot.ca.gov.
National Parks Impacted – “Good morning from very wet Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks! The rivers, side channels, and flooded areas that were thundering yesterday have subsided since peak flow, and we’re hoping that conditions are stable enough to begin what will be a lengthy process of damage assessment. This photo was taken about half a mile inside the entrance to Sequoia National Park. We are expecting to find severe impacts to park roads. Furthermore, another atmospheric river is predicted to bring more heavy rains early next week. Both parks will remain closed through the weekend at the absolute minimum. Even if rain is not currently falling, mountain and foothill areas are highly prone to landslides, rockfall, and other hazards under these conditions. Stay safe out there!” | Source / Photo Credit: Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
California National Guard Response – Soldiers with the California National Guard’s 2632nd Transportation Company ground stage high water vehicles at the Okinawa Armory, Sacramento, California, March 9, 2023. The unit is staging vehicles for emergency response in case of flooding in the surrounding area prior to an atmospheric river approaching California. The Cal Guard is supporting local first responders and the California Office of Emergency Response by staging highwater vehicles and other assets throughout the state.
Source: CA NG / Photo Credit: U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Joseph Prouse
American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region Chapter – WINTER STORM UPDATE: Last night, approx. 230 people sought refuge in more than 25 Red Cross and partner shelters across the state. | Source / Photo Credit: ARC
Within our region, 130 people were supported in 13 shelters as rivers and creeks continued to rise and flooding and landslides forced multiple road closures: https://redcrossblognccr.org/…/red-cross-responds-as…/
Never drive into flood waters – turn around, don’t drown!
Avoid downed power lines and call 9-1-1 to report
Check with your local city/county for sandbag locations
Prepare your household for disasters: redcross.org/prepare
State of California Wants You to Be Safe
“We urge you to limit non-essential travel. Upcoming storms may bring heavy rain, winds, flooding & rock/mudslides. Our emergency response resources are active.
Be prepared & assist your vulnerable neighbors.”
Source: CAL FIRE
(c) 2023 NW Fire Blog