Wettest storm in a decade headed for Northern California


umbrellaSTOCKTON — Californians are bracing for a powerful winter storm that is expected to bring wind and widespread flooding starting this weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch from Saturday afternoon through

Wednesday afternoon for Northern California, including the northern San Joaquin Valley and the Delta.

Between 2 and 6 inches of rain is expected to fall in the Central Valley from Saturday through Monday.

Precipitation amounts this high have not been seen since December 2005, the National Weather Service. The agency warned a combination of intense rain and saturated soil will lead to heavy runoff.

In addition, there is a wind advisory for 4 a.m. until noon Saturday. The NWS said the strongest winds were forecast for the southern Sacramento Valley, northern San Joaquin Valley, eastern Solano County, Delta area and lower elevations of the Mother Lode south of Highway 50.

The weather service warned residents to watch for fallen trees and downed power lines.

A second storm is expected to hit the area Tuesday and Wednesday.

PG&E urged power customers to take the following precautions:

  • Always treat low hanging and downed power lines as if they are energized and extremely dangerous. Keep yourself and others away from them. Be aware that trees, pools of water and other objects that may be in contact with power lines. If you see damaged power lines or electrical equipment, call 911 immediately and then notify PG&E at 1-800-743-5002.
  • During a power outage, use battery-operated flashlights, and not candles, due to the risk of fire. If you must use candles, please keep them away from drapes, lampshades and small children. Do not leave candles unattended.
  • Customers with generators should make sure they are properly installed by a licensed electrician in a well-ventilated area. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to crews working on power lines.
  • If you experience an outage, unplug or turn off all electrical appliances to avoid overloading circuits and to prevent fire hazards when power is restored. Simply leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.

San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties have lists of places where residents and businesses in flood-prone areas can get unfilled sandbags. Visit the counties’ website for more information:

San Joaquin County

Stanislaus County


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