Impending rain sparks flooding, downed tree concerns for Nevada County |

Impending rain sparks flooding, downed tree concerns for Nevada County

Sierra cement.

That’s the very heavy, wet snow that can cause all kinds of mayhem long after it has fallen from the sky. It was Sierra cement that reportedly caused the tipping of a private jet at Truckee Tahoe Airport last month. It was Sierra cement that caused widespread downing of trees and lengthy power outages in western Nevada County in November 2010. That wet, heavy snow landed on trees still filled with fall foliage and pulled down limbs and trees all over the county, leaving nearly 14,000 households and businesses without power.

And it’s Sierra cement that could cause some headaches this week as a predicted series of storms will bring plenty of rain to western Nevada County on top of the snow that remains at higher elevations.

An atmospheric river will take aim at Northern California with several days of persistent rain that may become heavy at times, according to the National Weather Service.

This additional precipitation on top of already nearly saturated soils will raise the risk for river, urban and small stream flooding issues, the weather service said. Soils will become saturated early and some snow melt may add to the water flowing into the rivers for the foothills and lower mountain elevations and onto roadways, mainly below 4,000 feet. Most small rivers are currently forecast to peak/crest on Wednesday but a few may take until early Thursday.

Light to moderate snow in the mountains, mostly from Interstate 80 northward, was expected Monday morning, with snow levels initially at 3,000 feet, rising to 4,000 feet.

Snow levels then will rise to around 5,500 to 6,500 feet for Tuesday and Wednesday. Grass Valley is being predicted to receive 6 to 8 inches of rain through Thursday, along with a wind advisory in effect from 7 a.m. Monday to 10 a.m. Tuesday with winds of 35 mph. There also is a flash flood watch in effect from Monday afternoon through Thursday morning,

Rain is predicted mainly after 10 a.m., heavy at times, on Monday, with wind gusts as high as 38 mph Monday night. Tuesday will be more of the same, with occasionally heavy rain and wind gusts, and temperatures down to about 43 degrees Tuesday night. The rain should taper off to showers by Thursday, however.

From the National Weather Service in Sacramento

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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