Local News

Thursday, Feb 27 2014 04:58 PM

Snowpack remains paltry; weather advisories issued

  1. 1 of 4

    By AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

    Frank Gehrke, chief of snow surveys for the Department of Water Resources, left, reads the snowpack weight to California Council on Science and Technology Policy Fellow Toni Lee, who accompanied Gehrke on the snow survey held at Echo Summit Calif. on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. The department says its latest survey shows the Sierra Nevada snowpack is still well below normal, bad news for the drought-stricken state. Manual and electronic readings show the snowpack's statewide water content at 24 percent of average for the date.

    click to expand click to collapse
  2. 2 of 4

    By AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

    Frank Gehrke, chief of snow surveys for the Department of Water Resources, crosses a snow covered meadow after conducting the snow survey at Echo Summit Calif. on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. The department says its latest survey shows the Sierra Nevada snowpack is still well below normal, bad news for the drought-stricken state. Manual and electronic readings show the snowpack's statewide water content at 24 percent of average for the date.

    click to expand click to collapse
  3. 3 of 4

    By AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

    Dennis Drum clears snow from his driveway after a overnight storm near Echo Summit Calif., Thursday, Feb. 27 2014. Recent storms have brought much needed precipitation to the drought-stricken state, but the California Department of Water Resources announced Thursday, that manual and electronic readings show the snowpack's statewide water content at 24 percent of average for the date.

    click to expand click to collapse
  4. 4 of 4

    By AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

    Frank Gehrke, chief of snow surveys for the Department of Water Resources, reads the snowpack depth during the snow survey held at Echo Summit Calif. on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. The department says its latest survey shows the Sierra Nevada snowpack is still well below normal, bad news for the drought-stricken state. Manual and electronic readings show the snowpack's statewide water content at 24 percent of average for the date.

    click to expand click to collapse
By STAFF AND WIRE REPORT

California's Department of Water Resources says its latest survey shows the Sierra Nevada snowpack is still well below normal -- bad news for the drought-stricken state.

The survey was made Thursday as the first of two back-to-back Pacific storms lightly blanketed the Sierra with fresh snow.

Related Info

STAY SAFE

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. offered safety tips Thursday in anticipation of the storms:

* Don't touch or try to move downed power lines. Report them by calling 911 and PG&E at 800-743-5002.

* Do not use candles because of the risk of fire, or be careful if you do. Don't use candles near drapes, under lampshades or near holiday trees. Keep candles away from small children, and do not leave candles unattended.

* If your power goes out, turn off or unplug all electric appliances; otherwise, several appliances may come back on at once and overload your circuits when power is restored. Hot appliances also pose a fire hazard if they come back on while you're away or asleep. Leave a single lamp on to alert you when power returns. Turn your appliances back on one at a time when conditions return to normal.

* Have battery-operated radios with fresh batteries ready for updates on storm conditions and power outages.

* Have battery-operated flashlights with fresh batteries on hand.

* Have a cell phone or hard-wire, single-line telephone on hand. Cordless phones will not work without electricity.

* Fill used liter-size plastic soda bottles with water and place them in the freezer. During an extended outage, transfer them to your refrigerator to prevent food from spoiling. Open the refrigerator only when necessary to keep warm air out and cooler air in.

* If you have a generator, tell PG&E and do not use it unless it is installed safely and properly. If it is not, you risk damaging your property and endangering yourself and PG&E line workers who may be working on nearby power lines. Information on the safe installation of generators can be found at www.pge.com/generator.

The department says manual and electronic readings show the snowpack's statewide water content at 24 percent of average for the date.

The northern and central Sierra snowpack provides about a third of California's water supply.

More snow is expected from the week's second and more powerful storm, which is expected to arrive late Thursday and last into Saturday.

The National Weather Service said parts of the valley could see 1 or 2 inches of rain, more in the foothills. Its map of predicted totals included .6 inches for Bakersfield, a full inch for Taft, .71 inches for Arvin and 1.13 inches for Lake Isabella.

The service warned of debris flows and flash floods near wildfire burn scars, wet roads that could make travel hazardous and street flooding in some urban areas. The city of Bakersfield cleaned storm drains "notorious" for clogging during storms and checked to make sure lift stations were operating properly in anticipation of the heavy rain, said Assistant Public Works Director Nick Fidler.

The weather service predicted lower snow levels late Friday, with a mix of rain and snow possible at pass level in Kern County then and Saturday. There could be one to three feet of new snow in the higher elevations of the southern Sierra, the weather service said, with the bulk falling between midnight and noon Friday. Thunder and lightning may accompany the snow Friday afternoon, it said.

The Service said wind gusts may at some points climb to 60 to 70 mph near the Grapevine and in high mountain ranges through Saturday, also posing travel dangers.

And the service said some strong to severe thunderstorms will be possible Friday, generating damaging winds, small hail, cloud-to-ground lightening and an isolated small tornado.

To the south of us, mandatory evacuation orders were issued for about 1,000 homes in two of Los Angeles' eastern foothill suburbs beneath nearly 2,000 acres of steep mountain slopes left bare by a January fire.

For days, the cities of Glendora and Azusa have made extensive preparations, including lining streets with k-rails. Residents built barriers of wood and sandbags to keep debris flows in streets and out of homes.

While concern was highest in the Glendora-Azusa area, meteorologists also posted flood watches for many other areas denuded by fires over the past two years. The National Weather Service warned of possible rainfall rates of 1 to 2 inches an hour as well as waterspouts offshore and small tornados.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers overwhelmingly passed a $687 million plan to provide immediate relief to drought-stricken communities, a package that includes emergency money for communities running low on drinking water and farming communities where fallowed fields are leading to high unemployment. It will take effect immediately if signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, which is expected.

The Associated Press and The Californian contributed to this story.

Have something to share? Comment on this story
Today's Daily Deal
from
Bakersfield.com
$5
Daily Deal Image
Flores Ice Cream
$10 worth of food for only $5 at Flores Ice Cream
  • Value
    $10
  • Savings
    $5
  • Bought
    14
Buy Now