A pre-evacuation advisory was issued Monday afternoon for residents in North Fork after water discharges out of Bass Lake were increased and threatened to swell rivers below, the Madera County Sheriff’s Office said.
Another day of wet weather hit the central San Joaquin Valley on Monday, and river flood warnings, road closures and threats of even more rain were in the forecast into Tuesday.
The warning was issued for several roads near the downtown North Fork area, many similar to the ones under an evacuation warning in January. Roads under the flood warning included major roads through the town like Road 222, which has many smaller roads that run in and out of it and also were under flood advisory. Residents living along Road 225 also were being warned of possible flooding.
It was not clear how long the pre-evacuation warning would be in place, but the warning was still in effect Tuesday afternoon. In the meantime the sheriff’s office said residents who live in the flood watch areas should be ready to leave in a moment’s notice if conditions worsen. They asked residents to have their personal belongings packed.
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Near Tranquillity, about 80 homes remain under the threat of flooding after the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office found a levee has been weakened by recent storms. The levee sits on the Fresno Slough where the San Joaquin and the Kings rivers meet. Crews are monitoring the levee 24 hours a day.
The San Joaquin River also was being watched as water rose to levels that left residents fearing levees could break. The levels could remain the same for four days, said Tim Daly, a spokesman with the San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services.
Elsewhere in the state, the showers were bringing above-average rainfall. Forecasters said rainfall in San Francisco had surpassed the normal annual amount for the wet season by about an inch; it is currently at 24.50 inches of rain since October.
The Don Pedro reservoir in Tuolumne County, which captures water from the Tuolumne River, a key tributary of the San Joaquin River, currently is filled to 97 percent capacity. However, the water level kept lowering at the Oroville Dam, where a damaged spillway created flood concerns and prompted the evacuation of 188,000 people about a week ago.
Also in the Valley, power outages were a problem for hundreds after the passing storms left roughly 440 customers without electricity Monday afternoon in Fresno County. Denny Boyles, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Fresno division spokesman, confirmed storm damage had left the customers without power.
At the Millerton Lake State Recreation Area, 84 customers were said to be without power after a power pole broke there, Boyles said. The exact causes for power outages in at least three other areas around Fresno were not determined. The larger outage was reported in the Fig Garden Loop area in Fresno with nearly 170 customers affected there until about 3 p.m.
Roadway hazards also were an issue. The California Highway Patrol reported a large rock blocking Tollhouse Road near Highway 168, even though Caltrans later said it could not locate such a hazard.
Road flooding also was reported near Avenue 412 and Road 144 in Orosi, in Tulare County. The same was reported for Millwood Road in Dunlap south of Highway 180, the CHP said.
Even though there was a slight break in wet weather for a few hours Monday, the National Weather Service recorded 0.55 inches of rain for Fresno overnight. Overnight rain also brought 2.14 inches of rain to Shaver Lake and 1.78 inches to Yosemite Valley.
Amtrak tweeted Monday morning that it would be delaying passenger trains because of flooding along the tracks. Customers were being asked to check the Amtrak website for updates.
The weather service re-emphasized hazardous weather conditions for the Valley will continue, saying flooding would be an issue through Tuesday morning. The wind advisory for the Valley could remain in effect until 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Snow levels by Monday afternoon were expected to drop to 7,000 feet. After Tuesday, the chance of showers dwindles, with sunny skies forecast.