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Saturday, December 20, 2014
HUMBOLDT COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

A Good Winter Storm - Not Rainageddon

Cliff Berkowitz / Thursday, Dec. 11 @ 7:07 a.m. / Weather

We still have a good winter storm, but not the worst storm in 40 years that some predicted. This morning I spoke with Brian Garcia of the NOAA office on Woodly Island. Last night the models showed the Eel River at Ferbridge cresting at 26.2 feet by early Friday Morning. That would have made it the 3rd most significant flood at that location in recorded history.

As of now those predictions have backed off significantly. Although the river is still expected to exceed flood stage at Fernbridge by early Friday morning, it should only be at 20.4 feet. That is only inches above flood stage. And while that may get the fields a bit wet, it will not close State Route 211. The Eel at Scotia, once predicted to flood, will not even be getting to monitor stage. The only other significant rise will be the Van Duzen at Bridgeville, and that will only reach monitor stage.

We are still expecting up to an additional inch of rain on the coast and significant wind gusts through the morning. Rain and wind should back down to showers and small gusts by afternoon.

As of this morning there are power outages reported in McKinleyville, Arcata, Westhaven and Miranda. School closures include Miranda, Leggett Valley, Rio Dell and Scotia.

Audio



That's No Dragon

Mike Dronkers / Wednesday, Dec. 10 @ 4:28 p.m. / Weather

Some saw a dragon in the SatRad. Not us. 

 

 



Storm Overview Superthread

Mike Dronkers / Wednesday, Dec. 10 @ 2:37 p.m. / Weather

 

 

Here's where we'll be scribbling information we hear from KHUM listeners and other sources, updated as much as possible. 

It won't be pretty but it'll load quickly, and it will probably be true. 

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2:44 PM: Ruth Lake is full, says Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District.  

Ruth Lake, Humboldt County’s primary water reservoir, was declared 100% full by water district officials on December 11, 2014Ruth Lake typically fills during the December – January time frame.  This is the fifteenth earliest fill date in the District’s history.

12:58 PM: Miranda's Rescue, located in the lower Eel valley, is totally fine but they appreciate your concern. Also, power has returned to parts of Trinidad.

12:29 PM: Thunderstorming! In Westhaven! It's happening right now!

...A STRONG THUNDERSTORM WILL AFFECT NORTH COAST INTERIOR...REDWOOD
COAST...

AT 1205 PM PST...A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS ALONG THE COAST OF HUMBOLDT 
AND DEL NORTE COUNTY WILL MOVE ONSHORE OVER THE NEXT HOUR. 

WIND GUSTS UP TO 50 MPH ARE POSSIBLE WITH THIS STORM.

LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE... EUREKA...ARCATA...KLAMATH...JEBEDIAH 
SMITH STATE PARK...ORICK... FORTUNA...RIO 
DELL...TRINIDAD...CARLOTTA...MCKINLEYVILLE...SCOTIA... WESTHAVEN-
MOONSTONE...GASQUET...BERTSCH-OCEANVIEW...FERNDALE...BLUE 
LAKE...SAMOA...PINE HILLS...CAPETOWN AND HYDESVILLE.

TORRENTIAL RAINFALL IS ALSO OCCURRING WITH THIS STORM...AND MAY CAUSE
LOCALIZED FLOODING. DO NOT DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE THROUGH FLOODED
ROADWAYS.

 

12:03 PM Supervisor Ryan Sundberg posts to Facebook: "According to my source at PGE, the main transmission line that is causing the outage in Mck and Trinidad will be fixed by 1 pm today."

11:45 AM Power out on California street in Arcata, going all the way up the Hill. Tree down at Blondies is currently being worked on, says proprietor Johanna Nagan.

7:18 AM:  A car-size boulder is blocking 299

7:11 AM: Mad River Union reported yesterday that sandbags are available for Arcatans. 

7:05 AM Thursday Dec 10: Kym Kemp reports that 101 is closed at Richardson Grove. Follow the CHP traffic incident info hereCalTrans road information currently shows all roads generally open, but check back for updates.

6:45 AM: School Closures in SoHum:

Due to power outages in Miranda, SCHOOL IS CLOSED AT ALL MIRANDA CAMPUSES: SFHS, MJH AND OPSREY.

Whitethorn is without power and has been closed.

All other elementary schools have power and are open at this point.

#########

10:00 PM Wednesday Dec 10: The Times-Standard is reporting that the swell could bring tsunami debris ashore. 

9:25 PM: Redwood Creek at Chezum to crest tomorrow at 10am. http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/graphicalRVF.php?id=BLKC1

9:11 PM: Updated Eel forecast shows a slightly lower, but still serious, crest of 25.7 feet from 9am-11am Friday morning. 

5:41 PM: Here are some excerpts from an email we recently received from Humboldt County officials:

Van Duzen River at Bridgeville forecast to flood in the early morning

 Significant rainfall from the storm that hit Northern California today will cause flooding late tonight/early tomorrow morning along the Van Duzen River at Bridgeville. If you are in the low-lying areas along the river you are advised that you should seek higher ground for the evening and take precautions to protect your life and property. Owners of livestock should take appropriate action to protect livestock from rising river levels.

The river was originally forecast to hit flood stage around mid-day tomorrow, but new projections from the National Weather Service released this afternoon show that the river will rise to 17.1 feet at 3 a.m., and will rise to 20 feet by 9 a.m. This will flood Highway 36, especially east of Carlotta and near Grizzly Creek State Park. Portions of River Bar Road and in the Starvation Flat area are likely to be impassable. In the State Park water may reach near the office.

If you know anyone in this area, please check on them to make sure they have received this flood warning. If you are physically unable to leave on your own, ask a neighbor to help or call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251.

 Visit the National Weather Service site to monitor local rivers at http://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov. You can also bookmark the following links:

Van Duzen River at Bridgeville

South Fork Eel River at Miranda

Eel River at Scotia

Eel River at Fernbridge

 

5:28 PM: Larry Trask just spoke with the National Weather Service's Ryan Aylward. "Most of the  rain has moved inland." Heavy rain will continue falling on the upper reaches of the Eel and the Van Duzen. 

Another storm system is moving in and will reintinsify the weather, bringing yet more rain and wind. Another river forecast is due at 9pm tonight. "The south fork at Miranda is already starting to rise," he said. 

The flooding will really pick up tomorrow afternoon. "Some of these peaks will occur after the rain stopped."

"When this next low moves in, we'll see another gusty period." High winds will come in overnight and in the early morning hours. 

Here's audio from the interview:

NWS Ryan Audio

Via Dick Taylor chocolate's Instagram

5:03: Sandbags available at the Ferndale Fairgrounds for residents of Ferndale, Loleta or Rio dell that want to stop by can have free sandbags. The back parking lot is where they are, on 5th street entrance to the Humboldt County Fairgrounds, Ferndale.

4:05: Avenue of the Giants' downed tree cleared by South Fork High and Miranda Jr. High students. 

3:47: CalTrans' Eli Rohl tells KHUM that their crews are already working 24-hour shifts, clearing debris out of the roadway and otherwise trying to stay ahead of the curve:

"We're expecting the 254 near Miranda to start flooding by tomorrow morning. We're expecting localized flooding on highway 36, and flooding at parts of the Mad River. We're also watching Highway 211 into Ferndale very closely.

We'd also like to remind motorists to slow down for safety. The heavy rain and early sunsets mean reduced visibility. It takes longer to stop on wet roads, and definitely turn off your cruise control to avoid hydroplaning."

3:37 pm: Fernbridge web cam looking pretty mellow. 

3:01 pm: Freshwater Road: "no sign of flooding yet."

###

2:30 pm:

"The heaviest stuff for Humboldt county is going to be for the next few hours." - Matthew Kidwell, NWS

NWS Kidwell audio

National Weather Service's Matthew Kidwell tells KHUM that the heaviest rain of the storm is moving onshore, and the next few hours will be extremely wet.

Eureka has had an inch of rain since 10am, but Kidwill says the city probably won't see five inches. Other areas will, and Kidwell says the storm is behaving as expected. Crescent city has seen some heavy wind, with the highest gust checking in at 53 mph.

###

2:02 pm: band of rain slams EKA super hard. Knocks down the peace sign on F street. 

1:35 pm: The emergency shelter in McKinleyville is open tonight

1:10 pm: Bonfires spotted at Clam Beach are CCC burning invasive beachgrass.

 



The Eel at Fernbridge Will Flood Friday Morning: UPDATED

Cliff Berkowitz / Wednesday, Dec. 10 @ 8:36 a.m. / Weather

UPDATE:

As of 9:40 this morning the National Weather Service updated it's prediction: As of now, the Eel River at Fernbridge is expected to crest at 26.1 feet by 3am Friday morning.

Original Post:

The National Weather Service has updated it forecast for the Eel River at Ferbridge. Between 1am and 3am on Friday the Eel at Fernbrige is expected to crest at 25.7 feet, that is nearly 6 feet above flood stage. If it reaches that level, it will be among the highest flows in history (see chart at the bottom). Historically when the river reaches that level water washes across highway 211 closing that access into the Ferndale. The CHP's Matt Harvey says they will keep an eye on it and if conditions become unsafe they will close 211. At this point he said "we will wait and see." 

In addition to the Eel flooding at Fernbridge, it is also expected to flood at Scotia. Other local rivers expected to flood include The Van Duzen at Bridgeville, the South Fork of the Eel River at Miranda, the Navarro River at Navarro, the Russian River at Hopland, the Napa River at Saint Helena and the Napa at Napa.

Small streams and low lying areas are also expected to have flooding. Any livestock in these areas should be moved to higher ground. 

PREVIOUS RAINAGEDDON:

 



About That Illegal Dump On The Banks of The Eel

Mike Dronkers / Tuesday, Dec. 9 @ 1:06 p.m. / Feel Good , I Want To Help

Remember this morning when Sean Swanson from River Life Foundation called KHUM to ask for help cleaning up that grossness that would've entered the Eel when the river rises? 

Know what happened to that? Good people happened to that today. 

 

 

 



PSA: Unless Someone Does Something Today, This Garbage Will Wash Down the Eel and Out To Sea

Mike Dronkers / Tuesday, Dec. 9 @ 10:38 a.m. / PSA

####

UPDATE 12:16: A posse showed up! They're cleaning it up right now and said they'd send 'after' shots. 

Original Story below:

####

Sean Swanson from River life Foundation in Fortuna, who do a lot a trash cleanups, says there's a fresh pile on the Eel bar right by Miranda's Rescue. 

The catch: the river's predicted to engulf it, so some of this garbage will be out to sea by week's end.

He's doing a lightning-strike cleanup at NOONish TODAY. He's asking for your help. The more people show up, the quicker they can finish.

Meet near Miranda's rescue (1603 Sandy Prairie Road, FTNA). He said he's done a bunch of cleanups down there already and that Miranda's a willing partner. Call or text Sean at 362-9384 for more info.

Swanson KHUM Interview



McKinleyville Land Trust & Trials

Cliff Berkowitz / Tuesday, Dec. 9 @ 9:04 a.m. / Trails

Emily and I spoke with Nancy Correll of the McKinleyville Land Trust. We spoke of the trails along the Mad River Bluffs and soon to be in the Chah-GAH-Cho property.

Audio