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article imageAtmospheric river continues to batter Northern California

By Karen Graham     Feb 21, 2017 in Environment
Sacramento - Northern California is continuing to reel from an atmospheric river event that has produced evacuation orders, water rescues and dangerous flooding and mudslides.
And for the first time since 1997, the spillway on the Don Pedro Dam was opened. In other parts of northern California, evacuations were ordered as levees on rivers were breached and small streams overflowed their banks into neighborhoods.
In San Jose, on Tuesday, five homeless people were rescued from the Los Lagos Golf Course after Coyote Creek overflowed its banks, according to the Mercury News. Those rescued were believed to be part of a homeless encampment living along the creek.
The Coyote Creek flood event turned into a local emergency when a neighborhood was submerged, resulting in the evacuation of almost 800 people from the four-foot deep water, and Highway 101 was flooded, prompting the evacuation of a number of animals at the Happy Hollow Park & Zoo.
However, after several days of heavy rains, runoff from the already saturated ground pushed water through aged levees and spilled over many small local dams, creating numerous dangerous flooding events. In the remote hamlet of Spring Valley, about 2,000 people were stranded after rains washed out one of two entrance roads while mudslides engulfed the other road.
Highway 50 in El Dorado County in the Sierras is closed because it is in danger of collapsing after a shoulder gave way. The California Highway Patrol says the shoulder of westbound Highway 50, east of Bridal Veil Falls, collapsed during the storm and the No. 2 lane has begun to buckle.
Sacramento Bee
And in Manteca, a levee break on the San Joaquin River Monday night forced the evacuation of about 500 people. "When the water gets that high and more water is coming, there is just too much pressure and levees can break," said Tim Daly, a spokesman for the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services. While the break in the levee was repaired during the night, the evacuation orders still remain in effect.
And while Californians are still not quite out of the woods, yet, there are clear skies at the end of this latest series of storms. According to the National Weather Service, while California will get a few days to dry out, storms will continue to bring heavy rain, flooding and strong winds to many states across the west. Heavy rain will result in flooding for some areas, and heavy snow will be possible at high elevation locations.
More about northern california, atmospheric river, don pedro dam, Flooding, levees fail
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