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article imageBiggest storm in a decade slams Northern California on Sunday

By Karen Graham     Jan 8, 2017 in Environment
Sacramento - A massive storm system has moved into Northern California, bringing with it widespread heavy rains and mountain snow. The system also brings with it the threat of flash flooding as many rivers are already close to flood stage.
Residents and authorities in northern California have already been at work clearing storm drains and stacking sandbags as heavy rains and gusting winds from the monster storm that could be the biggest in over a decade moved across the state, according to Fox News. Forecasts call for the system to only increase in intensity through today and into tomorrow.
Flooding has already occurred along Highway 101 in Sonoma County, where a number of motorists had to be rescued this morning. Residents of a mobile home park in Marin County were taken to safety by swift water teams as officials reported fallen trees and flooded roads in the county.
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Los Angeles Times
San Francisco Gate is reporting that flash flood and deep water warnings have been issued as the sequence of storms continues to come on land. In the Bay Area, many roads are closed due to high water as parts of the area have already seen over two inches of rainfall.
Flash flood warnings are in effect for the Napa River near St. Helena and the Russian River in Guerneville in the North Bay, on the Guadalupe River in San Jose, and the San Lorenzo River in Santa Cruz. These rivers are expected to crest Sunday evening as the rain intensifies.
In Yosemite National Park, which was closed on Friday due to the weather, the Merced River is expected to come out of its banks at some point this afternoon. Several hundred vacationers were evacuated on Friday prior to the park being closed.
The National Weather Service is reporting rainfall totals from this storm may rival the December 2005 rainfall totals. But Yuba County spokesman Russ Brown told the Sacramento Bee that people in his area are especially on edge because this year is the 20th anniversary of the catastrophic floods of 1997.
In the 1997 flood event, 250 square miles of the Central Valley were inundated, damaging or destroying over 23,800 homes and 1,900 businesses. Nine people died and 120,000 residents were evacuated.
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National Weather Service
National Weather Service Forecast
The NWS forecast as of January 8, says that stormy conditions bringing rain and snow are expected to persist across much of the western part of the country as moisture-laden low-pressure systems from the Pacific are driven into the West Coast. Northwestern California will be first in line to be impacted by rain, heavy at times, with the threat of flash flooding through Tuesday.
Snow is forecast for the Sierras across the Great Basin and into the Intermountain region tonight, spreading to the north and east into the northern and the central Rockies by tomorrow. A significant ice storm is possible over portions of western Oregon and southwest Washington including the Portland and Vancouver metro areas.
More about storm system, gathering strength through the day, river flooding, Mudslides, snow in Sierras
 
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