According to the US National Weather Service (NWS) office in Eureka, the Eel River at Fernbridge in Ferndale is forecast to reach flood stage the morning of Saturday, Dec. 31, with moderate flooding occurring through Sunday, January 1, 2023.
The California Nevada River Forecast Center notes that if the flood stage reaches 22 feet, this could result in flooding of parts of the low-lying area in the lower portion of the Eel River Delta. Owners of livestock in low-lying areas of the Eel Delta are advised that animals could be at risk due to rising river levels and appropriate action should be considered. NWS also notes that the Mad River may flood Mad River Beach Road near Tyee City and no impacts are currently expected on the Van Duzen.
A flood advisory is being issued for the following county zones:
- HUM-E101: Table Bluff Rancheria, Eel River Wildlife Area, Loleta Bottoms
- HUM-E105: Ferndale bottom - far west, along the Pacific Ocean from mouth of the Eel River to Centerville Beach, includes Cock Robin Island; east to Port Kenyon
- HUM-E106-B: Goble Lane area, South of Eel River to Arlynda Corners/Salt River
- HUM-E110-A: Ferndale bottom - far northeast; southeast of Fernbridge to Grizzly Bluff Rd, east to Eel River
- HUM-E033: McKinleyville, west of US 101
- ARC-E001-B: Arcata Bottom
According to CalTrans District 1, Caltrans typically waits to close Fernbridge until a stage height of 24 feet, however the temporary supports the bridge is currently utilizing following the Dec. 20 earthquake may require a closure at a lower water level. CalTrans does not anticipate damage to the structure or temporary supports, but flood water could prevent the visibility required for safety monitoring and inspections. If the closure of Fernbridge is required, it will be a full closure and will apply to all users. Residents should be prepared to take alternative routes. For the most up to date CalTrans road conditions, check quickmap.dot.ca.gov or the QuickMap app.
For updates on Humboldt County Road conditions visit: https://humboldtgov.org/1422/Road-Conditions
Homeowners experiencing issues with drainage or localized flooding are encouraged to purchase sandbags, sand, and wattles at local home improvement stores.
Free sandbags may be picked up at the following locations, while supplies last:
- Ferndale residents: Humboldt County Fairgrounds inside the gates adjacent to the carnival field, 1250 5th St, Ferndale, CA.
- Arcata residents: City of Arcata Corporation Yard, 600 South G Street, Arcata, CA. A limited supply of pre filled sandbags are available. Arcata residents are advised to bring a shovel as bags and sand are available for community members to fill their own bags.
- Eureka residents: 945 West 14th Street, Eureka, CA, sandbags are located in the alley. Bags and sand are available but will need to be filled by community members.
- Rio Dell residents: sandbags are available behind Rio Dell City Hall, 675 Wildwood Avenue, Rio Dell, CA
- Blue Lake residents: City of Blue Lake Corporation Yard, 199 Taylor Way, Blue Lake, CA (Corner of Taylor and Hatchery Rd, across from Mad River Brewery)
- Fortuna residents: behind Firemen’s Pavilion and the Rohner Rec Hall at Rohner Park, 9 Park St, Fortuna, CA. . Bags and sand are available but will need to be filled by community members.
For residents in all other municipalities, please contact your local jurisdiction to inquire about sandbag availability.
For more information on the storm, please visit the NWS website at weather.gov/eureka.
To view updates from the California Nevada River Forecast Center visit: https://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/graphicalRVF.php?id=FRNC1
KNOW YOUR ZONE
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), in collaboration with local governments and public safety partners, has established over 300 emergency zones throughout Humboldt County utilizing Zonehaven, an evacuation management platform. To access Zonehaven visit: community.zonehaven.com
Residents are encouraged to "Know Your Zone" before the next emergency occurs by visiting the new interactive map on Zonehaven AWARE. In order to find your zone, residents should enter their address into the interactive map at community.zonehaven.com using the search bar in the upper left. This will open a pop-up window, which includes your zone’s name and information about the zone and its emergency services.
The most important thing you can do to be prepared for an emergency is to keep informed.
For updated information regarding Humboldt County emergencies , please go to humboldtsheriff.org/emergency and visit @HumCoOES on Facebook and Twitter.