Storm in Sierra Nevada Sparks Concerns About Flooding and Avalanches

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A CHP officer is photographed after becoming stuck in heavy snow in the median of U.S. Route 395 near Crowley Lake as snow falls on the Eastern Sierra Nevada. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

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The first band of what forecasters predict will be the region’s most powerful storm in a decade moved into Northern California, prompting official warnings of widespread flooding and epic snowfall in the Sierra Nevada.

Officials expected the storm to pack the same force as one that hit Northern California in 2005, causing $300 million in damage.

Officials reported scattered flooding and mudslides throughout the region on Sunday morning, notably in the North Bay, where several creeks and rivers were rising quickly. Motorists had to be rescued on the 101 Freeway in Sonoma County when the highway flooded. Several smaller roads were also closed due to flooding.

Local authorities were watching rising water levels at several key rivers, including the Truckee, Merced, Napa, American and Russian.

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