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More flooding expected as Modesto-area waterways rise

A group of people ride in a rowboat along West Main Street east of Patterson as the San Joaquin River starts to overflow its bank in the Stanislaus County area Sunday.
A group of people ride in a rowboat along West Main Street east of Patterson as the San Joaquin River starts to overflow its bank in the Stanislaus County area Sunday. mbicek@modbee.com

Campgrounds and mobile home parks along the San Joaquin River remained underwater Monday as excessive runoff from rainfall continued to swell rivers in Stanislaus County and the surrounding region.

Authorities say water levels will continue to rise in rivers, streams and creeks over the next few days, and more flooding is expected. The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department is strongly urging residents who live along the San Joaquin River to move their property and animals to higher ground.

The river has completely flooded the Turlock Sportsman’s Club on South Carpenter Road in Crows Landing. The club offers its members camping areas for RVs, along with areas for archery and fishing and ranges for pistol-, rifle- and trap-shooting.

All of it is underwater.

Stan Bill of Turlock Sportsman’s Club

The river has flooded the club facilities before, but the water level was much higher this weekend. So high, it redirected the river’s path, said Stan Bill, a club board member.

“(The river) is cutting right through our trap-shooting range and pistol range,” Bill said Monday. “All of it is underwater.”

His son, Matt Bill, shot aerial footage of the club grounds using a drone with an attached camera. They posted the video on the club’s Facebook page.

Bill said the floodwaters a few years ago nearly reached their clubhouse. This past weekend, the river spilled over a levee and pushed about a foot of water inside the clubhouse, he said. They were able to move out most of their equipment and appliances before the water damaged them.

The club has been shut down, and Bill said it could remain closed through June or July. He said that would be the longest time the club has been closed.

These recent storms could continue to force reservoirs to release water at a rapid pace into the Valley. Bill said the natural snowpack in the Sierra Nevada could start to melt soon, pushing more water into the reservoirs and exacerbating the flooding in the Valley.

Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall this winter is causing flooding of small creeks and streams, city streets, highways, underpasses and other drainage areas and low-lying spots. Widespread flooding continued over the weekend, even as the rain subsided.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning until 9:15 p.m. Monday for Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Tuolumne, Calaveras and 19 other counties in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

MORE RAIN EXPECTED

Weather service officials said Valley streams will continue to rise as it takes time for mountain runoff to reach the Valley floor. More rain is expected for the Modesto area Thursday morning and continuing through the weekend, according to forecasters.

Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Anthony Bejaran said Red Cross officials have opened a shelter for displaced residents from flooded Catfish Camp and Fisherman’s Bend RV parks. The shelter is at the Hammon Senior Center in Patterson.

Lori Taylor, a manager and resident at Catfish Camp, said it could be a year before anyone is allowed to move their trailers or RVs back into the mobile home park. The entire 18-unit RV park is underwater, and its sewage system and water well are likely contaminated, she said.

Taylor chose to remain in her mobile home parked just outside Catfish Camp, while other residents took refuge in the Patterson shelter. She said the residents weren’t allowed to park their mobile homes outside the shelter, so they had to find somewhere else to park their homes.

“At least it’s a place where they can go, use the facilities and have a hot meal,” Taylor said Monday.

But she’s not planning to stay parked outside Catfish Camp much longer. She’s just waiting to try to get more of her belongings left behind in the flooded RV park, including her son’s Pontiac sedan. Taylor was looking for a tow truck with a long enough tow cable to reach the car.

She said the water at Catfish Camp had continued to rise, reaching the grass on the east side of Crows Landing Road just south of the San Joaquin River.

At least it’s a place where they can go, use the facilities and have a hot meal.

Lori Taylor, about the Patterson shelter for displaced residents from Catfish Camp

Bejaran said Monday afternoon that officials were planning to use a sheriff’s helicopter to survey flooded areas and identify what other areas along the San Joaquin River could experience more flooding in the next four or five days. As of Monday afternoon, areas along the Tuolumne River in Stanislaus County didn’t appear to be receiving any significant flooding, he said.

The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department has sent six deputies, three sergeants and a lieutenant to help with patrols in Yuba City. Nearly 200,000 people have evacuated that region since Sunday. Authorities had warned that an emergency spillway in the Oroville Dam was in danger of failing and unleashing uncontrolled floodwater on towns below.

The Butte County jail reportedly moved all of its 578 inmates overnight to an Alameda County jail in Dublin. Sutter and Yuba county jails also evacuated inmates and relocated them at jails in other counties. Sheriff Adam Christianson said Monday no jail inmates from evacuation areas had been moved to Stanislaus County jails.

Rosalio Ahumada: 209-578-2394

Shelter openings, road closings

Patterson shelter opened

Red Cross officials opened a shelter for displaced residents from Catfish Camp and Fishermans Bend RV parks. The shelter is at the Hammon Senior Center, 1033 West Las Palmas Avenue in Patterson. Anyone affected by flooding at these two RV parks who needs assistance can call the Red Cross at 844-236-0153.

Stanislaus County roads closed due to flooding

  • River Road between Crows Landing Road and Hills Ferry Road
  • Grayson Road between Cox Road and Shiloh Road

ACE train suspended

The Altamont Corridor Express passenger train service has been canceled through Wednesday because of flooding in the region and other service disruptions since Sunday. ACE officials apologized to its customers and said they will continue to reroute trains and work to restore normal train service.

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