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More wet weather, flood warning in Modesto region, snow in the Sierra

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You can’t predict when disaster will strike, so make sure you have a plan. Here are nine things you can do to prepare for a future evacuation.
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You can’t predict when disaster will strike, so make sure you have a plan. Here are nine things you can do to prepare for a future evacuation.

Expect more soggy days ahead as storm fronts continue to pass through the Modesto area early this week. The National Weather Service in Sacramento issued a flood warning through much of Sunday for parts of the region.

According to the weather service, the Central Valley is in for three more days of rain with winter storm warnings in effect through Tuesday. The weather service issued a flood warning Saturday evening that will be in effect through 6 p.m. Sunday for small streams in central Stanislaus and southwestern Tuolumne counties.

“Many Eastern foothill streams of Stanislaus County are flooding or likely to flood over the next 24 hours,” the warning on the NWS website said. “The public has reported flooding in eastern Stanislaus and western Tuolumne county, including the city of La Grange.”

NWS radar estimated from 3 to 5 inches of rain had fallen in parts of the region between noon and 4 p.m. Saturday. “Runoff from this heavy rainfall will cause many streams to begin flooding. Dry creek flowing into Modesto along Crabtree (Road) is likely to flood,” according to the warning.

Expect the skies to begin clearing around Tuesday night, but not before dumping about half an inch of rain in the region each day, said National Weather Service meteorologist Johnnie Powell.

“Be careful when the rain hits. If you haven’t finished up your leaves and drains, be sure to do that. Modesto floods pretty easily,” Powell warned.

The Modesto Irrigation District reported .67 inches of rain fell overnight Friday and into Saturday morning. Rain was forecast to return Saturday evening and start up again with possible thundershowers after 10 a.m. Sunday. Temperatures will remain mild, with the high reaching about 59 degrees and wind between 15 to 20 miles per hour, and gusts up to 30 mile per hour, Powell said.

Further east, in the foothills and Sierra Nevada, the storm front is dropping heavy snow across the region. The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings for the Sierra Nevada with avalanche warnings in place for the Nevada side of the mountain range.

By Monday afternoon and into Tuesday, snow could drop as low as 1,000 feet. Powell said to expect 3 to 6 inches of snow in the foothills and about 2-feet of snow in the High Sierra each day of the storms.

The National Weather Service briefly issued a tornado warning Saturday afternoon for south central Mariposa County and northwest Madera County, but it expired without incident.

The Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department posted a warning of hazardous road conditions due to heavy rains Friday afternoon. It cautioned drivers to limit travel, if possible, and to not drive through standing water or around road closures. Drivers who must go into snowy regions are advised to carry chains.

“But if you are not a skier, don’t go up that way,” Powell said.

Yosemite National Park issued a warning this weekend about possible road closures as well. Visitors were cautioned that Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 West), Wawona Road (Highway 41), and El Portal Road (Highway 140) inside Yosemite National Park may all close temporarily due to heavy precipitation and snow at higher elevations.

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