Hundreds have been evacuated and at least three people have died as one of the worst flooding disasters in the past decade hits California and Nevada.
Residents voluntarily evacuated at least 400 homes, which affected 1,300, in a south Reno neighborhood Sunday as the Truckee River breached its banks.
While no injuries have been reported, many area roads have been closed, according to the Associated Press.
The Truckee River is expected to peak about six feet above flood stage Monday morning in neighboring Sparks, where several feet of water is expected to flood an industrial area where 25,000 people work.
— Ian Schwartz (@SchwartzTV) January 9, 2017
The Russian River in California’s Sonoma County has also breached its banks, prompting the closure of area schools.
A state of emergency has been declared in Nevada as a multi-day siege of heavy rain and Sierra snow pounds California and sets its sights on parts of Nevada.
Sadly, the iconic “tunnel tree” located in California’s Calaveras Big Trees State Park was toppled by the storm on Sunday. The giant sequoia tree, known as the Pioneer Cabin, was so named for the tunnel that had been carved into its broad base 137 years ago, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“We lost an old friend today,” wrote county resident Jim Allday, who posted a picture of the fallen tree on his Facebook page.
Motorists were left stranded Sunday on flooded roads as heavy rains from the massive winter storm moved into Northern California.
Rescues were performed in Marin and Sonoma counties, including a rescue along U.S. 101, where several people were saved from submerged vehicles, according to the Associated Press. No injuries were reported.
Interstate 80 was closed due to a mudslide and downed power lines, and a wind gust of 173 mph was clocked in the Sierras.
There have also been widespread avalanches on Carson Pass and the Sacramento Weir gates will open Monday for first time since 2006 to alleviate the flood waters in the Yolo Bypass, according to KCRA.
Roads leading into Yosemite National Park have been closed, authorities say, and rescues were underway in the Hidden Valley area Sunday.
— CAL FIRE (@CAL_FIRE) January 8, 2017
Three people have died in California where flooding rains have shut down roadways and created hazardous travel conditions throughout the central portion of the state. Water rescues have been reported around the region.