Although many trees fell and some areas
flooded, the city of Eureka saw no major
injuries or fatalities as a result of
the storm, according to city officials.
The biggest impact from the storm was
felt by the Public Works Department,
according to Eureka City Manager David
“We were feeling pretty good until
(Saturday) morning,” Tyson said. “It was
the high winds that really got us.”
Tyson, who said he has seen other storms
of similar magnitude during his 15 years
with the city, said Eureka had not taken
too much damage and acknowledged many
other areas had been hit harder.
“We are keeping a watchful eye on the
rest of the county,” he said.
Tyson said the city’s water and
wastewater systems were of particular
concern because of the power outages,
which had left much of the county’s
residents without power on the New
Year’s Eve holiday.
At noon Saturday, Eureka’s Emergency
Operations Center issued a news release
advising residents that the city’s water
distribution system was experiencing
power failures and were running on
“During this time, please avoid
unnecessary water usage,” the news
Earlier in the day, during the peak of
the storm, city personnel were busy
dealing with downed power lines, trees
and related emergencies.
In a four-hour period, Tyson said the
city emergency services received more
than 500 calls for service and responded
to 105 actual service calls.
By the afternoon, Tyson said the city
staff were in a recovery phase and were
trying to coordinate power and fuel
Mercer Fraser Co. donated the use of a
generator for the city’s use to provide
electricity for key services.
Tyson said he was grateful for the
donation and thanked Mercer Fraser for
their support during the storm.
Amid all the emergencies, Tyson said
there were reports of residents being
involved within their community to help
remove downed trees, with “human chains”
formed to move the debris and limbs from
With the power expected to remain off
for much of the city, Tyson said he
wanted to discourage residents from
using candles and advised people to
monitor their basements for flooding.
Residents with flooding problems can
obtain free sandbags at the city lot at
15th and California streets, as well as
at the city’s property at 14th and Short
streets, Tyson said.
Tyson said the city was also
experimenting with its new reverse-11
system, also known as code red, which
allows the city to send out messages to
the community to alert residents of
Suzie Owsley, public information officer
for Eureka Police Department, said a
small pickup truck traveling southbound
on U.S. Highway 101 was hit by a falling
eucalyptus tree, but no one was injured.
The downed trees forced the closure of
the highway for most of the day and
traffic was rerouted through Samoa.
In addition to other damage caused by
the storm, signal lights in Henderson
Center were out for most of the day and
a traffic light at Fifth and E streets
had fallen into the road.
Tyson Ritter/The Eureka Reporter
63-year Klamath resident Stace
Fisher with his dog Angel. “This
is the worst it’s been since
1955,” Fisher said.
over yet: More rainfall expected
in coming days
by Heather Muller, 1/1/2006
A combination of high winds, high
tides and heavy rain pounded the
North Coast again Saturday. The
storm stranded travelers and
brought traffic in the area to a
halt behind downed trees and power
lines. It also left some locals
scrambling for higher ground.
Klamath was hit particularly hard,
as the Klamath River crested at
more than 47 feet Saturday
afternoon. It was the
second-highest level ever
“This is a no-holds-barred winter
storm,” said Troy Nicolini of the
Eureka office of the National
Local emergencies have been
declared in Del Norte and Humboldt
counties as well as a handful of
But as bad as it is, the NWS said
it isn’t over yet.
Carol Ciliberti, a hydrologist
from the NWS, stated that flood
warnings remained in effect on the
Klamath River at Klamath and the
Eel River at Fernbridge.
While all rivers have crested and
are receding, Ciliberti said,
there will still be enough
rainfall over the next few days
that some of the rivers may rise
Additionally, a coastal flood
advisory is in effect for Sunday,
with another high tide expected in
excess of nine feet.
A high surf advisory has also been
issued, with 18- to 20-foot waves
expected through Monday afternoon.
A wind advisory was issued for
this morning, as the next front
approaches the coast with 25 to 30
mph sustained winds and gusts to
50 mph throughout Humboldt and Del
Also, a winter storm warning is in
effect Monday for elevations above
4,500 feet. In Trinity County, a
foot or more of new snow is
expected in a 24-hour period.
Ciliberti advised caution in the
“There will be bad visibility and
lots of wind,” she said.
But there might be a break in
“Some of our medium-range models
have been indicating a possible
break for the middle of the week,”
Ciliberti said, although she
warned it would be short-lived,
she said. “There’s more of a
chance of rain again toward the
end of the week,” Ciliberti said.
Heavy rain washes
across state as residents start
M. Norton, Associated Press
The second major storm in two days
washed across Northern California on
Sunday, prolonging the threat of
flooding as residents tried to clean up
thick layers of mud and debris left
behind as the first wave of floodwater
Three more inches of rain in the
already water-logged region Sunday
pushed the Napa River back toward flood
stage in the wine country town of St.
On Sunday, water topped a levee in
the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta,
forcing as many as 100 people to
evacuate Twitchell Island. Along the
Sacramento River near Collinsville in
Solano County, several dozen people were
evacuated as strong winds had thrashed
water over the levees, cracking them
under the pressure, said Paula Toynbee,
spokeswoman for the Solano County
"It's getting worse. It's actually
tearing apart," she said.
Hundreds of homes and businesses
across the region had been inundated
Saturday as heavy rain sent the Napa and
Russian rivers spilling over their
In many areas, the rivers and creeks
were back within banks, though some
towns remained flooded or flooded again
as the rain, heavy at times, came and
went throughout the day Sunday. The
Sonoma County town of Guerneville was
among those still fighting floodwater
amid pouring rain.
At least 2 more inches of rain was
forecast across Northern California on
Sunday, on top of the 4 to 9 inches that
already had swamped the region, the
National Weather Service said.
"It's coming in wetter and windier
than expected," said Arthur Hinojosa,
chief hydrologist with the state
Department of Water Resources.
Wildfire-damaged areas of Southern
California also were under a flash flood
watch and a threat of mudslides as heavy
rain headed in their direction. In
Pasadena, the Rose Parade's floral
floats were being prepared for what
could be the first rainy Rose Parade in
half a century.
Massive mudslides kept road crews
busy moving rock and debris that shut
down Interstate 80 through the Sierra
Nevada and other roads across the
In Guerneville, where the Russian
River crested 10 feet above flood stage
early Sunday, downtown largely was
spared but low-lying areas and an
unknown number of homes flooded, said
Linda Eubanks of Sonoma County's Office
of Emergency Services.
Officials were urging residents who
had left to stay out for another day,
and those who hadn't to evacuate. About
50 people were in emergency shelters,
In spite of the flooding, Maureen
Weinstein hosted a festive New Year's
Eve party outside her Guerneville home
-- muddy river water lapping just 10
"We live through (floods) a lot,"
Weinstein said. "We're not that
concerned this time because this year we
have power and the Internet. I can
monitor the water. It's wonderful."
In San Anselmo, about 20 miles north
of San Francisco, streets were coated
with mud, and business owners sorted
through mounds of damaged goods Sunday,
a day after 4 feet of water spread
"We got hit very hard. It's all
pretty soggy and muddy up here," said
town administrator Debbie Stutsman.
"People are shoveling out."