Friday, November 30, 2012

[californiadisasters] Storm Wreaks Havoc On Shasta County; Flooding, Downed Trees, Power Outages

UPDATED (with video): Storm wreaks havoc on Shasta County; flooding, downed trees, power outages reported

The third day in a near week-long stretch of storms hitting the north state is causing flash flooding, downed power and utility lines and possibly contributing to power outages in Shasta County.

Firefighters this morning reported a flash flood on Wonderland Boulevard in Mountain Gate.

Dispatchers reported the flooding just before 7 a.m. and responding crews confirmed the flooding and advised the need for sandbags. The neighborhood that flooded is on the 15000 block of Wonderland Boulevard, less than a mile south of the Lehigh Cement Co. plant.

Firefighters just a few minutes later reported the road was also flooding. They requested county public works crews.

Heavy rain caused Stillwater Creek to overflow and flood the neighborhood. The water nearly entered a home rented by Daniel Cissney, 53, and his girlfriend, 50-year-old Jody Villarreal.

"I'm sick to my stomach," said Cissney, who spent part of the morning watching the water slowly rise to his door step. He said he and Villarreal have been up all night watching Stillwater Creek, which sits just east of their home, slowly rise.

Cissney said he's lived in the home since April and only heard of a single incident of flooding.

"I heard it (his home) almost flooded last year," he said.

But Kyle Landis, 26, a neighbor and friend who said he's lived in Mountain Gate for many years, said the flooding was much worse today.

"I've never seen it like this," he said.

The flood subsided by about 8:30 a.m., and Cissney said he heard the initial flooding had been caused by a shed that had apparently been blown by strong winds into the creek and helping to clog it up. That shed, he said, was later removed from the creek bed, allowing the water to drop.

But firefighter Devin Owen said the flooding was simply caused by extensive rain, noting that a shed did fall into the creek Thursday night and was washed away by the deluge, but it was not a factor in the flooding.

"It was definitely a flash flood," he said, adding firefighters have been busy this morning helping sandbag residences and business that were in jeopardy.

He said shortly before 10 a.m. that firefighters had a good handle on the situation and that the flooding threat had eased.

Meanwhile, a tree that crashed into a building Thursday at Shasta and Oregon streets in downtown Redding also knocked down a cable line in the area, emergency crews reported.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. officials today reported an early morning power outage left some 1,187 customers in the dark for nearly seven hours.

Two outages in Shingletown were reported at about 2:20 a.m.

Black Butte School is closed for the day.

Power was restored to all but two customers by 8:25 a.m., PG&E reported.

PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno said a tree crashing into power lines caused the outage.

"Crews made those repairs in the wee hours of the morning and the power is back on," Moreno said.

There's also an outage northeast of Cottonwood affecting some 105 customers, including the Coleman Fish Hatchery and residents along Hatchery Road, he said. Another outage has left some 41 customers without power along Draper Road and Wayne Lane on the Tehama County side in Anderson.

"Power should be back on late this afternoon," Moreno said.

Meanwhile, an outage in Anderson and Happy Valley affecting more than 1,700 customers was repaired overnight. Officials said the outage in Happy Valley was caused by trees knocking down a power line and it was repaired just after midnight.

The California Highway Patrol reported rock slides at Highway 36 and South Fork Mountain Road in Trinity County. Another rock slide in Helena left basketball-sized rocks in a lane of the road, according to the CHP.

Check back here for updates.


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