Heavy storm brought rain, winds and power outages

CHICO — A heavy storm hit Chico and other areas in Butte County hard Sunday, with heavy rain falling for at least five to seven hours.

According to National Weather Service meteorologist Cory Mueller, Chico experienced between four and a half to five and a half inches of rain Sunday. The Enterprise-Record’s weather station recorded 4.44 inches.

Mueller said that in the higher elevations, there were 8- to 12.5-inches of rain in Paradise and in the foothills and surrounding communities. Mueller said there might be some small creek or stream flooding Tuesday morning.

As expected with a storm, some PG&E customers lost power. Paul Moreno, PG&E spokesperson, said that there were about 8,500 customers without power Sunday during the height of the storm. On Monday there were 1,200 customers without power in Chico and other areas in Butte County.

“There were a few hundred outages throughout the north valley with heavy rain and high winds,” Moreno said.

Moreno also said that there were a lot of damaged trees, with broken trees and fallen limbs causing broken utility poles. Butte County was the most impacted.

The city of Chico is continuing its storm cleanup efforts. According to Public Information Officer of Public Works Lynda Gizzi, the cleaning up of the aftermath of the storm should take about a week.

The Public Works, Police, and Fire departments responded to calls for service throughout the storm. Chico’s communications center received 892 calls. The Chico Fire Department responded to 42 storm-related calls for service in 24-hours, including downed trees and tree limbs, trees into structures, flood assessments and downed power lines.

Public Works Department resources, including the city’s emergency contractors, are addressing downed trees and larger issues before moving to less urgent service requests. Crews are continuing to work with PG&E for calls related to downed power lines.

Lower Bidwell Park remains closed at this time. The city said in a press release the public is advised not to enter the park as crews continue assessing damage and cleanup efforts. All upper Bidwell Park trails are currently closed.

The city said high priority requests, such as damaged property or blocked access, will be dealt with first. All requests for service have been logged by the Public Works Department.  People are asked to not make repeated requests.

The Operations and Maintenance Division can be reached at 894-4200, Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for make service calls. Also, residents can email rightofwaymaintenance@chicoca.gov or fill out an online request at https://chico.ca.us/report-infrastructure-issue.

Oroville saw a bit less storm damage. Oroville Public Works Operations Manager Cody Nissen, said, “All in all everything fared well in the city of Oroville, thanks to good preparation. We knew the storm was coming and everything went well. A few trees that were privately owned went down but nothing impacted the roads. There were no significant flooding issues and no land or rock slides.”

Lake Oroville’s current water level is 652.75 above sea level, a rise of more than 20 feet compared to Saturday’s level of 631.65 elevation. The lake is full at 900 feet elevation.

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