CHICO >> With moderate rain Saturday and into Sunday, some of Butte County’s roads began to see water accumulation, with several already closed.
Road closures in low-lying areas will almost certainly increase, as the National Weather Service predicts nearly 2 inches of rain in the Chico area, along with winds around 20 mph and gusts as high as 44 mph, in the 24-hour period starting early Monday morning. The harsh weather continues Tuesday with nearly another inch of rain and more strong winds on the slate; things begin to relax a little Wednesday, again with nearly an inch of rain expected but with wind gusts topping out around 23 mph.
Hamilton-Nord-Cana Highway, about a mile west of Highway 99 and about five miles north of Chico, had significant water covering the roadway, prompting Butte County Public Works to close about a two-mile stretch of the road at 9 a.m. Sunday.
Cana Highway had a “road closed” sign just north of the railroad crossing but pooled water was very light. However, several trees in an orchard had toppled, nearly all of them on the orchard’s perimeter. Some trunks had split from the force of their fall.
A few miles south, Nord Gianella Road is closed on its entire length beginning in the town of Nord and stretching to near the Sacramento River.
Low-lying Central House Road and Middle Honcut Road, in southern Butte County just off Highway 70, have been closed due to flooding since Dec. 31.
After an evening of relative calm, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. crews got pressed into action again Sunday. According to PG&E’s outage map on its website, 253 addresses inside the town of Paradise had no electricity as of 1:15 p.m. The hardest-hit portion appeared to be neighborhoods west of the Skyway in the areas of Bille and Wagstaff roads.
Magalia had 11 addresses without power while 10 customers along remote Centerville Road were in the dark.
There were 50 homes awaiting service restoration in extreme north Butte County near Highway 99 and the Tehama County line.
During a break in the series of storms, the sun made a welcome appearance most of Sunday morning, and large numbers of people were walking, playing in the park and generally seeming to enjoy the brief respite from rain.
Approximately 20 people and their dogs were enjoying play time in the DeGarmo Off-Leash Dog Park at 190 Leora Court. Chico resident Haylie Coats was one of the owners, tossing a ball for her dog, Dunes.
“This is the driest we’ll have for a while,” Coats said as Dunes brought back the ball for another throw. The dog park’s decomposed granite surface had mostly drained well and the conditions made running around easy for the dogs.
Bidwell Park also drew its share of dog-walkers, hikers and cyclists.