Winter storm warning through Wednesday; county officials address wind, flooding threats
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning that is in effect for Plumas County from now through Wednesday, March 15 at 5 p.m. The worst of the weather is expected to begin tonight through Tuesday. In addition to heavy amounts of precipitation, high winds are also forecast, particularly for the western end of the county. Residents are urged to be aware of their surroundings and prepare for possible power outages primarily due to the combination of saturated grounds and wind. Heavy snow accumulations are expected at the higher elevations, with 1 to 3 feet above 6,500 feet on the eastern end of the county, while it’s slightly less on the western portion of the county.
Deputy Public Works Director Joe Blackwell said that his crews are staged and ready. When asked if there were any particular areas of concern, Blackwell said that the areas near Oakland Camp in Quincy and Stampfli Lane in Indian Valley, which are prone to flooding are being watched carefully, as are other known areas with flood potential.
One such area is the Middle Fork of the Feather River near Portola, and the county’s coordinator of emergency services, Pamela Courtright, said that area could reach minor flood stage this weekend. She related information that she received from the National Weather Service in a briefing this morning, March 13. According to NWS, the Middle Fork is “expected to begin a prolonged upward climb to flood stage by late Friday into early Saturday.”
Both Courtright and Blackwell encouraged residents who know that their homes are prone to flooding to pick up sandbags. (List of available locations below.) Additionally, seniors who need assistance with snow removal to reach propane tanks, etc. can call the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office dispatch at 530-283-6300 where there is a list of good Samaritans willing to help. Courtright said that CalFire personnel had been assisting residents, but they were released as of Saturday. They can be called back if necessary.
As for the winds, Courtright said that the NWS reported that those in open areas are most vulnerable to the wind gusts, but winds are expected across the county with gusts of 25 to 50 mph.
The good news is that this weekend’s weather allowed some of the moisture content to be released from the snow, enabling it to absorb more with this weather event. The next break in the weather is forecast to be this Thursday into Friday. Another atmospheric river is expected next week, but the NWS said it’s too early to tell how strong it will be.
Sandbag locations (bring your own shovel):
Quincy area: Feather River College baseball parking lot
Chester/Lake Almanor area: Chester Fire Station and Peninsula Fire Station
Eastern Plumas County: Portola City Public Works building (Main Street) Sandbags are limited, we are working to deliver more.
Indian Valley: Indian Valley Fire Station (located south of Greenville on Hwy 89)
For the latest road conditions call Caltrans at 1- (800) 427-7623
Or go to https://roads.dot.ca.gov/