- Scenes from U.S. Highway 101 in the closure area between Trinidad and Orick.
Caltrans reports U.S. Highway 101 between Trinidad and Orick is back open but urges people to limit nonessential travel.
Along with another round of high winds and heavy rain, a very large swell is set to arrive along the coast Thursday, with breaking waves expected to hit 30 feet, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service.
“This is not the time to go anywhere close to the surf,” a post by the NWS office states. “Avoid dangerous locations such as exposed rocks and jetties and steep beaches. Stay farther back from the surf zone. Larger sets can appear suddenly and can be dangerous if you are not paying attention. Large surf can wash into places normally dry at high tide. Never turn your back on the ocean!”
As high winds continue into the evening, heavy bands of rain will hit the region, according to the Eureka National Weather Service. “Rain will further increase the risk of falling trees, rock slides, and debris flow,” a NWS tweet states, noting localized flooding is possible.
As of 11 a.m., the Eureka office of the National Weather Service reports the strongest wind gust recorded was 94 mph on Upper Bear River Road in the King Range of Southwest Humboldt County.
Gov. Gavin Newsom has issued a statewide emergency declaration “to support response and recovery efforts to the large winter storm sweeping through the state,” according to his office. The State Operations Center has also been activated to the highest level.
“We anticipate this may be one of the most challenging storms in California,” a tweet from the state Office of Emergency Services states. “The SOC is a critical hub to direct activities and harness the expertise of the whole of state government.”
- Thadeus Greenson
- A tree blew down Redwood Community Pharmacy in the McKinleyville Shopping Center this morning.
The Humboldt County Office has issued a hazardous weather alert, warning people to stay away from downed powerlines, which may be live, and to use "extreme caution while traveling."
"Do not drive through flooded roadways. Only call 9-1-1 for immediate emergencies," the alert states. "For current state road conditions, call 1-800-427-7623 or visit roads.dot.ca.gov. For county road conditions, visit humboldtgov.org/1422. To report a gas leak or inquire about power restoration, contact PG&E at: 1-800-743-5000."
Caltrans reports U.S. Highway 101 from Seawood Drive near Trinidad to Orick is completely shut down "due to multiple downed trees." There is no current estimation for reopening. Find updates here.
Officials are urging residents to stay off the roads, if possible, with multiple downed trees and powerlines already impacting travel across the country, which has widespread power outages affecting thousands.
As of 9:30 a.m., all of Central Avenue in McKinleyville is blocked at Bella Vista Road due to a downed tree, according to county Public W0rks.
Along with the high winds, including peak wind gusts peaking in the 60 to 70 mph range, multiple periods of heavy rain are expected throughout the day, according to the Eureka office of the National Weather Service.
"A strong storm system will bring heavy rainfall to the area from early Wednesday morning through Thursday evening. The heaviest rainfall totals are expected across Trinity, Mendocino, Lake, and southern Humboldt counties," the NWS states in a post. "Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, streams, creeks, and other low-lying areas. Storm drains and ditches may become clogged with debris, further exacerbating road flooding. Mud and rock slides will be possible in mountainous terrain. Avoid travel if possible."
Schools in the Southern Humboldt Unified School District are closed, according to the Humboldt County Office of Education. Most of the other districts are still on winter break.
Sequoia Park and Cooper Gulch Park are closed through Jan. 6 due to severe weather conditions and the Sequoia Park Zoo has announced it is closed today.
As of 9:30 a.m., the Humboldt County Department of Public Works has issued the following storm-related county road conditions updates:
Eagle Lane: Closed. Eagle Lane closed near Norton Road due to downed trees blocking off roadway; trees will be removed as soon as possible.
Walker Point Road: Tree and Power lines down on the 1400 Block of Walker Point Road. Cal Fire has been dispatched and PG&E has been contacted.
Butler Valley Road/Kneeland Road: Tree debris covering Panther Gap Road. Trees down on Butler Valley Road, North of Kneeland Road, trees will be cleared as soon as possible.
Greenwood Heights/His Lane: Tree debris covering Panther Gap Road. Tree down on Greenwood Heights at His Lane and will be cleared as soon as possible.
Bald Mountain Road Closed Near Maple Creek Road due to downed trees blocking roadway.
McKinleyville: Traffic lights down in McKinleyville. Temporary stop signs will be set up, please treat stop signs like a four way stop. Drive with caution.
Central Avenue/Bella Vista Road: Road Closed at Central Avenue and Bella Vista Road due to a downed tree blocking all of Central Avenue.
Woody Road: Closed due to downed trees on power and communication lines.
Kneeland Road: Tree down/Powerlines down on Kneeland Road at Greenwood Heights. PG&E has been notified and the issue will be cleared as soon as possible; drive with caution and use other routes.