News Flash

Nevada County News

Posted on: November 21, 2018

Snow Storm and Flash Flood Warnings Issued for Northern California


Caltrans District 3 is alerting motorists to prepare for snowy driving conditions in the Sierra Nevada region and watch for flash floods in areas impacted by the Camp Fire Wednesday through Friday.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Holiday Storm Warning for a weather system expected to arrive Wednesday afternoon and continue through Friday morning. Periods of heavy rainfall are expected in Northern California turning to snow above 5,500 feet as the storm system moves into the Sierra Nevada. Snowfall for Donner Summit is predicted to be 8 to 12 inches with lower levels of snow in South Lake Tahoe Wednesday and Thursday. Snow levels are expected to rise to 7,000 feet Friday, impacting Donner Summit traffic.

This storm, in addition to increased traffic for the Thanksgiving holiday, will result in traffic delays for motorists. Those traveling through the Sierra region Wednesday afternoon and evening should account for significantly increased travel time.

Chain controls on Interstate 80 over Donner Summit, on U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit and on other Sierra mountain roadways should be anticipated Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning. Caltrans permitted and trained chain installers on Interstate 80 can be identified by a reflective sign with their bib number.

Moderate to heavy rain is forecasted beginning Wednesday afternoon and will continue into Friday morning. Motorists should be alert for potential flash floods in Butte and Plumas counties caused by ash or debris flow in new burn scar areas caused by the Camp Fire.

In preparation for the rain in impacted Camp Fire areas, Caltrans has been working with cooperating local and state agencies to protect infrastructure and mitigate for post-fire floods and debris flow. Highway maintenance crews have been cleaning and checking culverts, installing straw wattles, and performing hydro-seeding and erosion control operations along State Routes 191 and 70.

Severe weather may slow motorists, resulting in roadway congestion. Wet and slippery roadways reduce tire traction, especially at high vehicle speeds. Hydroplaning caused by vehicle speed and rain accumulations on the roadway can result in loss of driver control. Motorists are encouraged to slow down and observe the following winter driving tips:      

·        Reduce speeds during winter weather and allow for additional stopping time.

·        Turn on headlights to see and be seen and turn off cruise control.

·        Watch for snow removal equipment. Only pass snow removal vehicles when a safe, legal passing area is available and sight distance is good.

·        Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, and shaded areas; they may freeze first.

·        If your vehicle begins to skid, steer in the direction of the slide and slowly remove your foot from the accelerator.

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