Solano County and the rest of California are soaked – Times-Herald

By Janie Har and Christopher Wweber

Associated press

SAN FRANCISCO – Motorists raced over whitewashed mountain passes and residents held up umbrellas that collapsed in the blustering winds as northern California absorbed even more rain and snow on Monday, bringing the possibility of Landslides and mudslides in areas marked by forest fires as a result of particularly hot and dry autumn weather across the western United States.

Kirkwood Mountain Resort was closed Monday, saying on social media that it was not safe to open with 17 inches (43 centimeters) of overnight snow and high winds. A California Highway Patrol car in Truckee pushed a large truck up a snowy hill as smaller vehicles sped past, resulting in minor bumps and bruises but no actual injuries, CHP Officer Carlos Perez said.

“It’s so bad and so thick,” he said of the snowfall, with more expected Monday night. “We’re telling people that if they don’t need to be in this area, they probably shouldn’t be traveling.”

The multi-day storm, a powerful “atmospheric river” weather system that sucks moisture from the Pacific Ocean, has increased the threat of flooding and is expected to dump more than 2.4 meters of snow on the highest peaks in California and Nevada. and soak other parts of both states before it moves midweek, forecasters said.

The storm will bring much needed moisture to the wider region that has been affected by the drought which scientists say is being caused by climate change. The latest U.S. drought monitor shows parts of Montana, Oregon, California, Nevada and Utah are classified as being in exceptional drought, which is the worst category.

Most of the reservoirs in the western United States that provide water to states, cities, tribes, farmers, and utilities depend on spring snowmelt.

This week’s storm is typical of this time of year but notable as it is the first big snowfall that is expected to significantly affect travel with ice and snow on the roads, strong winds and limited visibility, said Anna Wanless, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

“Most of California, if not all, will see some kind of rain and snow,” she said.

Meanwhile, the gusts were so strong in and around San Francisco that state transportation officials issued a wind advisory for the Bay Bridge connecting the city to Oakland and warned motorhome and motorhome drivers. trailers avoid the 4.5 mile (7.2 kilometer) range Sunday night.

The welcome rain didn’t stop artist and Oakland resident Zhenne Wood from walking her neighbor’s dog, a short-legged corgi.

“I decided to stay home today and not go anywhere which is good,” she said. “And I’m really happy with the rain. I think we needed it a lot.

The storm prompted authorities to shut down a 40-mile stretch of iconic Highway 1 in California’s Big Sur area until Tuesday. The scenic coastal drive south of the San Francisco Bay Area suffers frequent damage in wet weather.

Residents of nearby Monterey County who live near burn scars from last year’s Dolan fire have been warned to be prepared to evacuate if the rains loosen the hills and cause debris flows while that in Southern California, Los Angeles County fire officials urged residents to be aware of the potential for mud flows.

In coastal Santa Barbara County, residents of mountain communities near Alisal Fire’s burn scar were ordered Monday to vent concerns that heavy rains could cause flooding and debris flows that could flood houses on the hillside. Officials did not say how many people were affected by the order.

Forecasters said the strong winds accompanying the storm could cause power outages. Pacific Gas & Electric spokesperson Karly Hernandez said crews and equipment are deployed statewide to respond to power outages.

The second storm expected to hit California mid-week shortly after the current storm has passed could provide nearly continuous snow in mountainous areas, said Edan Weishahn of the Reno Weather Service, which monitors an area on horseback. on the Nevada state border.

Donner Summit, one of the highest points on Interstate 80 and a major suburban trade route, could face major travel disruptions or road closures, Weishahn said.

All three Vail Resorts ski resorts in the Tahoe area opened with limited offers over the weekend after teams produced artificial snow. Northstar and Heavenly were both able to open on Monday, but Kirkwood was unable, spokeswoman Sara Roston said.

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