The Great Rio Linda Flood of 2017

The new year not only brought new hopes, new ideas, and a new leader for our County district in Sue Frost, but also a new concept in weather; Rain, and lots of it.
Two atmospheric rivers, one after another, brought rain to Rio Linda like we haven’t seen in many years. For most of the first two weeks of the year, Northern California was pounded by rainstorms which dropped over six inches of rain in under two weeks. The deluge inundated Discovery park, opened the floodgates on the Sacramento Weir for the first time in 11 years, and even dropped a small tornado on Natomas.

While the rain’s impact on the endless drought was welcomed, the impact felt on the Dry Creek watershed was grimly anticipated.

Much of the rain that falls on Roseville and South Placer county ends up in Dry Creek, which then flows through Rio Linda on it’s way to the East Main Drainage Canal (Steelhead Creek) and then to the American River. The flood mitigation projects that have been done since the last great floods in 1986 and 1995 helped to mitigate the impact of the greatly increased flow, but Cherry Island is indeed an island between the two swollen forks of Dry Creek and took the brunt of the flooding during the night of January 10th.

The wide, east branch of Dry Creek (nearest the high school) came near flood stage on January 9th at 5:30am and after another day of even harder rainfall Dry Creek went above flood stage on all three branches at 10pm on January 10th. A voluntary evacuation notice was issued by Sacramento County and the Red Cross set up a temporary shelter at Rio Linda High School as floodwaters filled Cherry Island at Cherry Lane and Curved Bridge Road, and flowed over the banks into the Church on Dry Creek Road and the pasture at the Dry Creek Ranch House. Rio Linda Boulevard was closed between Marysville Blvd and Robla Elementary. Many other streets were closed due to localized flooding.

By noon on January 11th, the creeks started to recede and fell back below monitor stage at 9pm.

The six inches of rain we received between January 4th and 11th brings the season total to 197% and has all but obliterated the drought in Northern California.

Sacramento Bee photographer Lezlie Sterling filed a video report here and shot some great photos.

Other photos from Rio Linda Online Facebook contributors.

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