This morning I spoke with Troy Nicolini of the National Weather Service office on Woodley Island. No less that six different weather warnings appear on the NOAA weather website, so I asked Troy what we can expect out of this system. In a word, flooding —specifically coastal flooding Thursday and Friday. High tides combined with a significant storm surge and big surf add up to flooding in the coastal areas that normally don’t flood.
Right now Nicolini warns drivers to watch for localized flooding on the roadways. We’ve had an inch of rain (at the Arcata rain gauge) in the past 24 hours with more heavy rain expected through Thursday morning. Storm drains can become overwhelmed with that much rain, causing a lot of water to build up on the area roadways. Troy also warned of small streams and culverts flooding as well.
With regard to our local rivers: Although they will rise, no flooding is expected on the major rivers. For example, the Eel River at Fernbridge is expected to top out at 7 feet by 9 a.m. tomorrow. Flood warning is at 14 feet, and flood stage is at 20 feet.
Audio of our talk follows: