Central Valley urged to be ready to “evacuate quickly” as another storm approaches
Forecasters with the National Weather Service offered a stark warning Sunday for just about everyone living in the soggy, soaked Central Valley.
“Pretty much anybody needs to be prepared for the possibility that they may have to evacuate quickly,” said Sacramento meteorologist Brooke Bingaman.
Though most of the valley avoided further flooding Saturday night, the worst may be yet to come Monday and Tuesday, Bingaman said.
Those living anywhere near a slough, a levee, a creek or a canal need to be ready to flee flood waters at a moment’s notice, she said.
Case in point: Maxwell, a rice-farming town of 1,100 people an hour north of Sacramento. It suddenly flooded early Saturday morning as storm runoff overwhelmed a local creek, filling a neighborhood and small business district with more than a foot of water.
Bingaman said the same scenario in Maxwell could happen in just about any low-lying area.
“We have been hit hard with storm after storm after storm since early January, so our soils are very saturated and it’s getting to the point where there’s no place for the water to go,” she said.
In Maxwell, the floodwaters were receding and only one person was still at a Red Cross shelter in nearby Williams Sunday morning, said Jim Saso, assistant sheriff at the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office. But with the next storm approaching, he urged residents to be ready to get out again.
“If they were affected (by the floodwaters) before, they’ll probably be affected again,” Saso said.
Highways in the area remained a mess Sunday.
State Route 162 between Willows and Oroville was closed due to flooding, according to the California Department of Transportation.