Shaun Walker/ The Times-Standard
Singley Bar Road and a dairy farm just
downstream of Fernbridge were flooded
by mid afternoon Wednesday.
Flooding throughout Humboldt County closed
roads and bridges and prompted some residents
to move trailers away from rivers Wednesday.
The Rio Dell Fire Department helped
residents at the Rivers Edge trailer park haul
mobile homes away from the Eel River as the
river rose well above 40 feet there. The river
was expected to rise just above the flood
stage of 51 feet Wednesday night.
”That's the only place where the river is
really threatening people,” said Rio Dell
interim City Manager Jay Parish.
Low-lying areas were flooded after 3 to 5
inches fell in 24 hours Tuesday and Wednesday.
Honeydew -- which usually takes the brunt of
winter storms -- got 11.4 inches of rain in 24
At about 3 p.m. Wednesday, Caltrans shut
Fernbridge, the stalwart bridge on State Route
211 to Ferndale, when the Eel River washed
over the western approach. The river was
expected to top out at 26 feet there -- 6 feet
above flood stage.
Ferndale Police Chief Lonnie Lawson said
the road to Port Kenyon was impassable but the
city itself was not flooding.
”We're working late just in case somebody
needs us,” Lawson said.
The Mad River spilled its banks at Tyee
City, a group of houses about 1 1/2 miles from
the river's mouth. The river was expected to
nearly reach flood stage of 22 feet at Arcata.
Hatchery Road in Blue Lake was flooded, and
traffic was diverted down West End Road.
Freshwater Road was heavily flooded, with
the high water mark well over-topping the mark
set by the 1955 flood.
Klamath River still poses a threat. A warning
for the lower Klamath was in effect, and
forecasters expected the river to rise just
above flood stage today.
evacuations were ordered in Klamath, though
some people on Wednesday were moving trailers
from low-lying areas around the river, said
Yurok Tribe Public Safety Department Sgt. John
Oliphant. He said that extra patrols had been
ordered and the tribal police are working with
the Del Norte County Sheriff's Department.
is coming up pretty good and there's a lot of
debris coming down with it,” Oliphant said.
warning also was issued for the Trinity River
around Hoopa until this morning.
U.S. Highway 101 was closed for several
hours Wednesday morning due to typical winter
sliding. By that afternoon, it was open to
one-way controlled traffic and was expected to
be fully open Wednesday evening.
The Avenue of the Giants saw some flooding,
preventing access in some areas, especially
around Phillipsville, said Caltrans
spokeswoman Ann Jones. She said the department
is monitoring those roads and Fernbridge, and
all will be reopened as soon as possible.
KHSU broadcasts were off-line for about 13
hours due to power failures in Kneeland. KHSU
general manager Elizabeth Hans McCrone said
she was concerned about the station's capacity
to deliver emergency broadcasts, and pointed
to it as an example of why funds need to be
raised for a backup generator.
All of this may be a typical of winter on
the North Coast, but it isn't over yet.
Another storm should hit Thursday night,
with the heaviest rains coming Friday. Another
storm is expected Sunday, which could push
rivers to flood stage again, said Nancy Dean,
meteorologist in charge at the National
Then there's a storm anticipated Tuesday
and Wednesday, and another one next Thursday
It's all because a steady jet stream is
funneling moisture-laden air from as far away
as Indonesia, Dean said.
Gale warnings on the Pacific Ocean will
remain in effect for days, as combined swells
and wind waves stay around 20 feet and higher.
High tides around 9 feet are also forecast for
the next week.
John Driscoll covers natural
resources/industry. He can be reached at