Rivers may rise by 10 feet during coming rainstorm
With 3-6 inches of rain predicted for most of Del Norte County on Sunday through early Monday, local rivers are expected to rise several feet.
Although the rivers are not predicted to reach flood stage, the public is advised to exercise caution during the swift rise.
“Anybody near the rivers needs to be aware that the flow is going to increase rather rapidly,” said Reginald Kennedy, hydrologist for the National Weather Service office in Eureka. “People should stay away from the rivers or use caution if you’re near them.”
Kennedy recommended that residents in the path of the storm clear their gutters, empty storm drains, and make any other preparations for the storm.
The National Weather Service predicts the rain will start Saturday night in the coastal regions of Del Norte and Humboldt counties, progressively spreading east and south on Sunday. The heaviest rain is expected to start late Sunday morning and continue through early Monday.
The rain should gradually taper off Monday and end by the evening, according to the National Weather Service.
The storm is being brought by an “atmospheric river,” described as a narrow band of moisture with a tropical source and westerly flow, sometimes referred to as a “Pineapple Express,” Kennedy said.
The Smith River is predicted to rise more than 10 feet in less than 24 hours at the Jed Smith river gauge in Hiouchi, from 5 feet at 5 a.m. Sunday to 15.5 feet at 5 a.m. Monday.
The lower Klamath River will not see as much rain as northern Del Norte, but the lower river area is expected to receive 2-4 inches of rain.
The lower Klamath River is predicted to rise from 8.5 feet at 2 p.m. Sunday at the river gauge near Klamath to 12.4 feet at 7 p.m. Monday.
The Chetco River is predicted to rise from 1.34 feet at the river gauge near Brookings at 5 a.m. Sunday morning to 11.2 feet at 5 a.m. Monday.