Soaked Napa Valley faces third storm

Isolated problems, but no flooding Friday
2012-11-30T23:30:00Z 2012-12-02T00:07:52Z Soaked Napa Valley faces third stormKERANA TODOROV Napa Valley Register
November 30, 2012 11:30 pm  • 

Napa Valley spent most of Friday mopping up from the intense storm that swept through Thursday night, with another soaking — the third in five days — forecast to arrive Saturday night.

Thursday night’s storm caused pockets of street flooding, a series of minor motor vehicle accidents and briefly knocked out power to 3,000 customers.

The National Weather Service is maintaining a hazardous weather outlook for the Bay Area through the weekend, with a flash flood watch in effect through Monday morning.

Rain will be heavy at times on Saturday night and Sunday morning when another couple of inches could fall on Napa, with greater amounts on the higher elevations, according to the National Weather Service.

As of 5 p.m. Friday, the storm had deposited 1.44 inches of rain at the city of Napa’s Corporation Yard on Jackson Street, while higher elevations got substantially more, according to county gauges.

Mount Veeder recorded 6.25 inches, Mount St. Helena 5.34 inches. The highest total on a county gauge was 6.9 inches at the Hopper Creek next to Highway 29 in St. Helena. Yountville Cross Road received 5.9 inches.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. reported 3,000 Napa County customers lost power temporarily. The biggest outage occurred when an electrical pole and power line fell on Berryessa Knoxville Road at about 10 p.m. Thursday, affecting 1,300 customers, PG&E representative Brittany McKannay said. Power to the last 400 affected customers was restored by 8:30 a.m. Friday

In Napa, 1,000 customers lost power between 4:40 and 5:50 a.m. Friday when debris fell onto power lines on Pine Street, causing an arc, PG&E and Napa fire representatives said. Residents reported seeing flashes of light, Napa fire Capt. Carl Johnson said.

The storm sent water through the new bypass culverts on Napa Creek, which was not in danger of spilling its banks. A contract tree service was called in Friday morning to lift fallen trees out of the creek near the culvert entrances, clearing the stream for the next storm.

CalFire reported isolated flooding incidents in and around Yountville early Friday. Southbound Highway 29 was closed for about an hour, beginning at 5:30 a.m., about a mile south of Oakville Grade after a car hydroplaned, went off the shoulder and ended up partially submerged in water, CalFire said.

In Yountville, Hopper Creek flooded nearby residential streets at around 5 a.m. Friday, CalFire said. The waters receded as soon as the morning rains subsided.

Localized flooding in the early morning hours Friday was reported on Solano Avenue and on Washington Street at California Avenue after the Villagio Channel overflowed, Yountville Town Manager Steven Rogers said. Town crews will remain on storm watch duty this weekend, he said.

An AT&T pole at the intersection of Madison Street and Yount Street failed, requiring the closure of Madison for much of Friday so that the pole could be replaced, he said.

Domaine Chandon’s étoile Restaurant was closed for lunch Friday because of water damage in one section of the restaurant, said Matt Wood, general manager at Domaine Chandon. The restaurant reopened for dinner at 4 p.m., he said.  The rest of the winery and the retail salon remained open as normal, he said.

The California Highway Patrol reported minor crashes south of Napa, including two solo spinouts on Highway 29 near South Kelly Road and Jameson Canyon Road, CHP Officer Jake Ramos said. There were no reported injuries.

Flooding shut down state Highway 12/121 intersection near the Schell-Vista fire station in Sonoma County. The intersection remained closed as of 4:45 p.m. Friday.

Schell-Vista Fire Lt. Adam Lobsinger said six vehicles got stuck in the rising waters at about 5:30 a.m. Friday. Firefighters pulled seven people out of the waters, he said.

Julie Lucido, flood project manager, reported no major problems. Crews will be on call all weekend, she said. If additional debris accumulates at the Napa Creek culverts, a contractor will be called to remove it with an excavator, she said.

Phil Miller, Napa County deputy director of public works, said Friday morning that a 1.5 million-gallon storage pond at the Napa Berryessa Resort Improvement District was full. Staff started spraying treated wastewater effluent onto fields, a water discharge permit violation.

The district was fined for past violations, but that fine was slashed this summer after the district agreed to accelerate its scheduled improvements at the plant.

Instead of paying $330,000, the district will have to pay $95,000 and spend another $95,000 on upgrading two sewage lift stations in the district. Under the agreement reached with the Central Valley Regional Water Control Board, the district does not face another penalty for discharging treated wastewater effluent this winter as long as the improvements remains on schedule.

Caltrans reported southbound Highway 29 was closed north of Peterson Drive near Bothe-Napa Valley State Park because of downed trees between 3 a.m. and 9:40 a.m. Friday.

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