Week of rain, high winds could bring flooding to Nevada County | TheUnion.com

Week of rain, high winds could bring flooding to Nevada County

With around eight inches of rain anticipated to fall before next week, forecasters are cautioning Grass Valley and surrounding area residents on the possibility of flooding.

“For small streams, keep a watch on it and be prepared,” said Holly Osborne, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento.

A series of rain storms is expected to dump rain on western Nevada County, starting Wednesday and possibly lasting into next week, Osborne said. The weather system is coming from Alaska but is tapping into moisture from the Pacific Ocean, keeping temperatures above freezing.

High temperatures throughout the week are expected to be in the lower 50s with lows around 40 degrees, Osborne said. Freezing altitudes aren’t predicted until above 6,000 feet, Osborne said.

That system is also expected to bring winds reaching gust speeds of 40 miles per hour in the Grass Valley area and even faster on surrounding area ridges. Peak tops of the Sierra Nevada could see gusts in excess of 60 miles per hour, Osborne said.

Breaks between storms will be short, lasting only 12 hours at the most, Osborne said.

“It will continue off and on into the weekend,” Osborne said.

With eight inches anticipated, the weather service is expecting local small streams and creeks to rise.

“If we have back-to-back storms, it’s the last couple days of precipitation that you have to worry (about),” said Vic Ferrera, program manager of the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services.

“We usually don’t have the kind of flooding that takes out neighborhoods,” Ferrera said. “It is usually just backed up sewer systems and small-stream flooding that you have to worry about. It will spill over the bank.”

For people living near small streams, Emergency Services offers free sand bags and sand at their warehouse, located at the corner of North Bloomfield Road and Highway 49, Ferrera said.

“When you need them, it is nice to have them,” Ferrera said. “Take what you need but don’t fill up your kid’s sandbox.”

While flooding is certainly a concern, Ferrera said that the winds have him more worried about power outages.

“That’s where people need to plan,” he said.

He recommends that residents have flash lights, drinking water and especially a land-line telephone that plugs into the phone jack.

“It’s always good to have one of those old-fashioned phones,” Ferrera said. “That way if you have an emergency, you know you have a phone.”

In general, Ferrera recommends that travel be avoided unless necessary.

“If you don’t have to go outside, stay inside,” Ferrera said. “The more cars out there, the more the chance for accidents.”

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call (530) 477-4236.

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