Breaking News Sign up page for email alerts and newsletters Breaking News blog front page index

The latest on major Northern California news events from the Bee newsroom.

December 2, 2012
Sacramento region battered by rain; storm total at 4.72 inches

photo-3.JPGBy Anne Gonzales

A subtropical storm system dropped 1.82 inches on Sacramento this weekend, bringing the total precipitation to 4.72 inches since Wednesday. Some areas got drenched by a significant band of rainfall Sunday morning.

Snow levels dropped to Donner Summit, and rivers are rising, while drivers encountered lakes of standing water on roads and residents scrambled to clear debris from drains to prevent flooding.

Cindy Matthews, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, said the three-storm system is "very warm, hooked in with subtropical moisture from near Hawaii, which is bringing us multiple days of precipitation"

Matthews said rain pelted Sacramento about 8 a.m. today, with some areas reporting a half-inch of rain falling in about 15 minutes.

Small stream flooding could continue to Monday morning, Matthews said, as rainwater wends its way into creeks. All of the rain falling upstream was being kept by reservoirs, with no releases Sunday morning, she said.

Flood stage is forecast for the upper Sacramento River at the Tehama Bridge, and multiple locations on levees in Tehama, Butte and Glenn counties were being monitored, Matthews said.

Weir overflows into the Sutter and Yolo bypasses were expected Sunday, and Michigan Bar just east of Rancho Murieta was being monitored for overflow, she said.

The American River at Discovery Park at I Street in Sacramento was at 15.1 feet Sunday morning, and was expected to rise to 18.5 feet by Monday morning. The park is closed when the river reaches 19 feet.

In the 24 hours from 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday, Sacramento got 1.82 inches of rain, while Shasta and Tehama counties got anywhere from 2 to 6 inches.

Snow levels have been relatively high, with the storm bringing mostly rain to the Sierra Nevada mountains, but by Sunday morning, snow was falling at Donner Summit, at 7,000 feet elevation, the lowest since Wednesday, Matthews said. Kingvale, at 6,200 feet, was also reporting snow.

Heather Palm of Fair Oaks said her family awoke Sunday morning to find 4 inches of water in their garage, as storm drains were clogged with falling leaves. By mid-morning, the water was creeping past the porch, into her foyer and heading for the living room.

"My husband and father have been running from drain to drain, pulling leaves out of the drains, but three minutes later, leaves rush down the gutters and are immediately plugged again," Palm said.

The house sits on a downward slope, she said. The family just moved from North Natomas, where they were aware of the potential for flooding. Her father, incidentally, was "enjoying his first weekend of California weather," after moving here from Texas, Palm said.

PHOTO: Ed, left, and Shelby Durkee clear street drains of leaves just after a Sunday morning deluge in Sacramento's Curtis Park neighborhood. Bee photo by Linda Gonzales

About Comments

Reader comments on are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.

About Breaking News

Read updates on major breaking news stories here.

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Emergency Resources