TRUCKEE (CBS13) — The atmospheric river bearing down on Northern California is expected to drop inches of rain in the Sierra. After a troublesome warm storm last year, people in Truckee aren’t taking any chances.
“I’m just getting about 10 more,” said Jeff Smith, while shoveling sandbags.
People with property near the Truckee River are loading up on sandbags.
“Just getting prepared just in case. You never know,” said Smith.
“We [can] get flooding that runs down streets in neighborhoods and can cause problems,” said Paul Spencer with Truckee Fire.
He says they’re ready for the warm storm impacts.
“We have a raft, we have airboats, we have teams that we can send out as needed,” continued Spencer.
The National Weather Service says three to seven inches of rain could fall in the Sierra from Friday through Saturday.
As of Thursday evening, river levels were at four feet. Flood stage is only another half a foot.
The National Weather Service says the water may rise another two feet by the time the storm is all over.
They sent a warning that conditions could be similar to January 2017. That’s when warm rain melted snow sending high water down streets and into homes.
“If it’s up in the trees and there is a lot of debris going down, then you worry,” said Dan Kanner.
Experienced kayakers, like Kanner, are keeping a close watch on the water conditions.
“Generally for us here, the more water, the better,” said Kanner with a smile.
He’s looking for prime opportunities to enjoy the rapids but says he is also cautious of the dangers fast water can bring.
“It’s really cold, fast, it’s dangerous,” said Kanner, “If you don’t know what you’re doing it can go really wrong really fast.”
The National Weather Service says the area with the highest risk of flooding is along the Truckee River from Truckee to Tahoe City.
Water is also being released from Lake Tahoe, which can enhance the flooding troubles.