Local

Valley gets a break before another storm arrives Sunday

Charles Woods, 46, of Fresno, fishes in a canal just off of the Fresno Slough along South James Road on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, in Tranquillity. Officials issued a flood warning to approximately 80 homes in the area on Friday, after a levee was weakened by heavy water flows from recent storms.
Charles Woods, 46, of Fresno, fishes in a canal just off of the Fresno Slough along South James Road on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017, in Tranquillity. Officials issued a flood warning to approximately 80 homes in the area on Friday, after a levee was weakened by heavy water flows from recent storms. sflores@fresnobee.com

The central San Joaquin Valley got a break from the rain Saturday, but wet weather is expected to return Sunday afternoon and stick around for the next several days.

Near Tranquillity, officials Saturday continued to keep an eye on a weakened levee that was at risk of rupturing and potentially flooding homes.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office on Friday issued a flood advisory, warning residents that they could be at risk of flooding if there was a break in the levee where the San Joaquin and Kings rivers meet northwest of the town.

Elsewhere, a rockslide blocked the southbound lanes of Dry Creek Drive near Stagecoach Drive in Tulare County on Saturday morning. The California Highway Patrol said the same area experienced rockslides last week but was cleared. Mudslides also affected Highway 198 near Beach Road, west of Coalinga.

The San Joaquin River flooded the Merced Slough Bridge, CHP said, and has closed Washington Road and Highway 59 in El Nido.

A mudslide that closed the Grapevine just north of Lebec still had the roadway reduced to two lanes as of Saturday, CHP said. It was expected to fully reopen Saturday evening. Most other Central California highways that were closed Friday because of winds and mudslides were reopened.

On Saturday, scattered light showers were reported in the foothills and along the west side of the San Joaquin Valley, but much of the Valley saw patches of clouds and blue skies throughout much of the day.

Dry weather should persist through early Sunday, according to the National Weather Service, before the next round of storms moves into the region Sunday afternoon. The Valley could see 1 to 1.5 inches of rain, with the heavier amounts falling on the east side of the Valley.

In the Sierra foothills, rain totals could range from 2 to 5 inches. A flood watch has been issued for the Valley and foothills, the weather service said.

Snow levels will be above 7,000 feet, and a winter storm watch is in effect from Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning from Yosemite National Park to the border of Kern and Tulare counties, the weather service said. Snow could be heavy at times Sunday night through Monday.

Gusty winds that raked the region Friday could return again on Monday, particularly on the west side of the Valley and from Merced to Fresno, the weather service said.

The Valley will get a chance to dry out for a few days on Thursday and Friday, but even more rain may be on the horizon for next weekend, according to weather service models.

  Comments