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California Storm Updates: Foothill communities assess damage, snow melt begins as state prepares for more rain

More rain is expected Sunday after an active weather day Saturday brought hail, funnel clouds, flooding and thunderstorms to the valley and foothills.
Credit: Michael Kennedy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As some Northern California communities assess the damage and clean up from an active weather day on Saturday, people across the state are bracing for more rain Sunday as another atmospheric river looms off the coast.

Heavy rain, hail and funnel clouds prompted the National Weather Service to issue tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings Saturday afternoon for portions of San Joaquin and Tuolumne Counties. The warnings have since expired.

While the National Weather Service says there were reports of possible tornadoes that could be spotted on weather radars, none have been confirmed to have touched down.

In Tuolumne County, officers with the California Highway Patrol reported seeing funnel clouds amid several lightning strikes as flash flooding sent inches of water plowing into homes and businesses.

Video taken just outside the Calaveras County town of Copperopolis around 2:30 p.m. Saturday shows a possible tornado.

Storm systems around the same time brought pelting hail and rain to valley communities like Stockton.

Meanwhile, in the Sierra, the warm-temperature storms have kicked off the snowmelt at lower elevations.

Olympic Valley resident Michael Kennedy says instead of a hill of snow sitting below the Wa She Shu ski lift at Palisades Tahoe, he saw a puddle of snow melt Friday morning.

Credit: Michael Kennedy

The anticipated snow melt has residents living along Northern California's hundreds of miles of levees, creeks and rivers on edge.

In Stanislaus County, officials have issued an evacuation order for a neighborhood in Modesto adjacent to the Tuolumne River near the 9th Street Bridge.

A separate evacuation order in Stanislaus County is impacting the community of Newman along the rising San Joaquin River.

Thunderstorms are expected to return to Northern California Sunday afternoon bringing a threat for severe weather.

The next major atmospheric river is excepted to make landfall Monday night and is slated to continue through Tuesday.

The California Office of Emergency Services has prepositioned crews in 19 counties including Alpine, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Tuolumne and in the Tahoe Basin.

Some water rescues have already been reported such as in Yolo County where sheriff's deputies say they rescued a man stuck in the Yolo Bypass Wildlife area on Sunday morning.

First responders took the man to a hospital for evaluation.


Interstate 80:

  • No chains are required.

Highway 50:

  • No chains are required.

Highway 88:

  • Chains are required on all vehicles (excluding four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles) from Ham Station to Kirkwood.


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