Flooding Closes Road to Ferndale; Caltrans Not Yet Sure When Hwy 211 Will Reopen

Hank Sims / Wednesday, Jan. 11 @ 6:20 a.m. / Traffic

Fernbridge live cam.

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At about 4:30 this morning, Caltrans spokesman Phil Frisbie sent us this note:

[Highway] 211 just closed due to flooding of the Eel River from Waddington Road to Fernbridge. No ETO at this time.

The Eel River rose above flood stage overnight, and isn’t expected to drop down below it until late this morning, meaning that there likely won’t be an easy route to/from Ferndale for a few hours.

There are a couple other ways to get to Ferndale, of course — through Rio Dell and over Blue Slide Road, or all the way around the Mattole Road to Weott — but we’re hesitant to recommend these detours, because we don’t know anything about the state of those roads at the moment. 

Best to hunker down in Cream City for a bit, if you find yourself on that side. Ferndale schools are closed today.

Fernbridge floods 100 years ago. Photo via Lynette’s History Blog.


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Humboldt Man Arrested This Morning for Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography

Andrew Goff / Tuesday, Jan. 10 @ 4:38 p.m. / News

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office press release: 

Steele

On Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at around 8:30 a.m. Detectives with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office arrested 37 year old Matthew Aaron Steele for distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography.  Steele’s arrest came at the conclusion of an investigation the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division began in June 2016.  During the course of the investigation several search warrants were obtained and served, ultimately leading to an arrest warrant being issued for Steele.

Steele was taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on the above listed charges.  His bail was set at $200,000.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.



Flooding Threat Triggers Day Off for Ferndale Students!

Andrew Goff / Tuesday, Jan. 10 @ 3:56 p.m. / Education

Sleep in tomorrow, kids. Due to the high potential of flooding in the Cream City, the Ferndale Unified School District is canceling classes for Wednesday. Full announcement in the press release below.

As of 2:50 p.m. the Eel River is at 18.81 ft. It is currently projected to be at 25.5 ft at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday Morning. NOAA reports the following conditions at 25 ft. Severe flooding of the Eel River Delta including areas northwest of Loleta and the western portion of Cannibal Island Road. Numerous road closures in low-lying areas, including Highway 211 to Ferndale. A Special Action Advisory is being issued to all owners of livestock near the river and in low-lying areas. These animals are at potential risk due to rises in the Eel River and appropriate action should be considered.

Based on this information Ferndale USD will be closed on Wednesday and all related activities will be canceled. 

The Board Meeting and Basketball Games with Fortuna will also be canceled and rescheduled at a later date.

All weather forecasts project the bulk of the storm has passed and the school will resume with a regular schedule on Thursday. 

If you have any questions please contact me at school 786-5900 or cell 502-7918.



CAO: Highway 36, Fernbridge May Close Due to Flooding

Andrew Goff / Tuesday, Jan. 10 @ 3:42 p.m. / How ‘Bout That Weather

Fernbridge from CAMMED

Humboldt County Administrative Office press release: 

Significant rainfall from last evening and today may cause local area river levels to rise above flood stage.  The weather forecast is calling for additional inch or so of rainfall through Wednesday, though more rain can be expected at higher elevations.

Residents should continue to monitor local radio, television, or NOAA Weather Radio for updated weather forecasts and flood information.  Weather information may be obtained by calling the National Weather Service recorded forecast line at (707) 443-7062.

  • The Van Duzen River is forecast to hit flood stage by 4 p.m. which will affect low-lying areas along Highway 36, especially east of Carlotta and near Grizzly Creek State Park. Portions of River Bar Road in the Starvation Flats area are likely to be impassable. At the state park water may reach near the office.
  • The Eel River at Scotia is forecast to hit flood stage at 3 a.m. and rise to 52.9 feet by 7 a.m. Wednesday. Minor flooding in the Shively area is possible.
  • The Eel River River at Fernbridge is forecast to hit flood stage at 4 p.m. today, and rise further to 25.5 feet by 7 a.m. on Wednesday. Severe flooding of the Eel River Delta is expected, including areas northwest of Loleta and the western portion of Cannibal Island Road. Numerous road closures in low-lying areas are also expected, including Highway 211 to Ferndale. A Special Action Advisory is being issued to all owners of livestock near the river and in low-lying areas. These animals are at potential risk due to rises in the Eel River and appropriate action should be considered.

You can monitor river heights on line through the Eureka National Weather Service here.

Call 911 for emergencies and Red Cross (1-800-RED-CROSS) with shelter needs.

If you live in the areas impacted by flooding rivers, you are advised to take precautions to protect yourself and your property.  Owners of livestock should take appropriate action to protect livestock from rising river levels.

Please check on your neighbors to make sure they have received this flood warning.  If you decide to evacuate your residence, be sure to take essential items such as medicine, special foods, personal items, baby supplies, clothing, money, and valuable documents.  Do not overload your car.  Secure your home before you leave.

Never drive through flooded roadways.  Do not bypass or go around barricades.

For current information, stay tuned to your local radio stations or NOAA Weather Radio. You can also follow the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services Facebook page for updates.



CHP Seeks Toyota Prius in Connection to Last Week’s Fatal Hit-and-Run

Ryan Burns / Tuesday, Jan. 10 @ 2:54 p.m. / Crime

Benjamin Lee Taggart.

PREVIOUSLY:

From the California Highway Patrol:

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) Humboldt Area has identified a possible vehicle model involved in last week’s Fatal Hit and Run on US-101. The vehicle in question is a Toyota Prius possible 2010 to 2015 models. The vehicle will have little to no damage to the front bumper area. The vehicle will have a missing, front, driver side fender wall. 

If anyone has any information that may help identify the driver and help locate the vehicle in question please contact the Humboldt Area CHP Office at (707) 822-5981 during business hours or the Humboldt Area Communications Center at (707)268-2000 after business hours.



(UPDATING) A Running List of Humboldt Storm-Related Road Closures and Hazards

Andrew Goff / Tuesday, Jan. 10 @ 1:12 p.m. / Traffic

ABOVE VIDEO: The beginnings of a slide on Redwood Drive between Garberville and Redway | Courtesy Will Startare

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We’re going to try and keep this as up to the minute as possible. If you have info on something we should look into, let us know. 

The following list of road closures was culled from multiple sources, including Humboldt County Public Works, Caltrans, CHP and callers to KHUM radio: 

  • Highway 36 is open for the moment but may be fully closed this afternoon should the Van Duzen River flood
  • Highway 101 may close tonight due to flooding at the the Russian River Bridge near Hopland.
  • Redwood Drive between Evergreen Road and Bear Canyon Road (UPDATE: And also near Dazey’s and near Dean Creek).
  • Old Arcata Road has flooding at Jacoby Creek.
  • Mosswood in Benbow is closed due to slip out (UPDATE: detoured to East Blue Rock)
  • Cock Robin Island Road is flooded, travel with caution.
  • Graham Road is closed.
  • Morgan Road is closed.
  • Hookton Road is muddy, travel with caution 
  • Fields Landing Road is flooded.
  • Elk River Road at Berta Road is flooded.
  • Pine Hill Road at Elk River Road is flooded.
  • Kimtu Road (Camp Kimtu) is flooded, travel with caution.
  • Elk Creek Road in Myers Flat is flooded
  • Sole Street is flooded
  • Red Cap Road closed due to slide
  • Highway 1 is closed 1.5 miles from 101 due to slide

Avenue of the Giants | Caltrans

  • Highway 254 (Avenue of the Giants) due to trees down between Myers Flat & Burlington
  • Highway 299 closed at Big French Creek due to slide
  • Bald Hills Road open but very narrow
  • Buttermilk Lane near 2777 Arcata is flooded
  • Camp Weott is closed
  • Coffee Creek Road is flooded
  • Dillon Road is closed between Riverside and Goble due to flooding
  • Fulmor Road closed passed Goble
  • Goble Lane between Dillon and Fulmor is flooded
  • Goble Lane between Fulmor and Sage is flooded
  • Goble Lane between Sage and 211 is flooded
  • Jackson Ranch Road at Foster Ave in Arcata is flooded
  • Maple Creek Road at slide has one lane open
  • Meridian Road is closed
  • Nissen Road is closed
  • Port Kenyon Road is flooded
  • Showers Pass Road is four wheel drive only
  • Walnut & Redwood Drive in Eureka is flooded
  • West Washington Street in Eureka is flooded

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BELOW: North Coast News goes to the water!



56-Year-Old Man Arrested for Molesting Child at McKinleyville Business, Sheriff’s Office Says

Hank Sims / Tuesday, Jan. 10 @ 10:59 a.m. / Crime

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On Monday, January 9, 2017 at approximately 3 p.m. Humboldt County Deputy Sheriffs responded to a business on the 1300 block of Hiller Rd in McKinleyville for a report of sexual battery.  Deputies spoke with a female juvenile victim who stated 56 year old Bryan Ross Main touched her inappropriately. Deputies learned Main is a registered sex offender and was in violation of his registration.

Main was arrested for sexual battery, annoying or molesting a child under 18 years old, and failure to register.  He was taken to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for the above listed charges.  His bail was set at $25,000.    

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.