About 2,000 people in a rural California community near Sacramento were asked to leave their homes Tuesday as a river swollen by days of heavy rain threatened to flood, while north of San Francisco thousands more were urged to seek higher ground.
Emergency crews and officials worked through Tuesday to try to bolster the levee in Sacramento County along the Cosumnes River, before deciding to ask 2,000 residents of Wilton to voluntarily evacuate before dark.
Atmospheric river of moisture swept parts of California and Nevada on Tuesday with another bout of heavy rains and snow.
National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for ski resort communities in the greater Lake Tahoe area, including the towns of Truckee and South Lake Tahoe, California, and neighboring Nevada enclaves of Stateline and Incline Village.
Swelling streams to flood stage and piling up wind-blown snow drifts several feet high in the mountains.
Snow accumulations of 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3 meters) were forecast above elevations of 7,000 feet, with fierce wind gusts reaching 100 miles (160 km) per hour along the ridge of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Weather Service reported. “This is a life-threatening situation,” the weather agency said in a bulletin issued from its office in Reno, Nevada, urging all would-be travelers to stay indoors. “Even a short walk could be deadly if you become disoriented.”
The blizzard warning was set to remain in effect through Wednesday morning. An avalanche warning was issued for much of the same mountain regions. Flood warnings were posted at lower elevations for 21 counties in northern and central California and a half-dozen counties in western Nevada, where creeks and rivers were expected to overrun their banks for a second straight day.