Colusa County added to emergency list
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency Friday in 11 more counties, including Colusa, from the severe rainstorms that began Dec. 19.
The governor's action allows the county to seek reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for some of the money spent clearing roads of debris and other storm-related work.
Colusa County has so far logged $390,000 in storm costs. Officials are waiting for water to come down before making the final tally, but the amount is likely to increase to several hundred thousand dollars thanks to washed-out and damaged roads, said Supervisor David Womble.
While the Sacramento River stayed within its levees, smaller streams overloaded the drainage systems and rose up and over streets, closing as many as 30 roads at one point. High water started to undercut the Stonyford Road bridge, which remained open but may be in need of repairs.
“Everything just kind of overflows, gets saturated,” Womble said. “That's how we get flooded.”
Some roads are still closed, including Tule Road.
There was no building damage, but waters were into front yards of some homes in Williams.
“It came real close,” said sheriff's Lt. Doug Turner, the county's Emergency Services coordinator. “It quit raining in the nick of time.”
Though the storm is long gone, Turner is still wary about the weather, especially now that drainages are saturated.
In 1998, the county was hit with February storms that threatened the city of Colusa and caused upwards of $50 million in damage.
“We've still got a couple of months until we're out of the woods,” Turner said.
Work done to the problematic 2047 Canal would hopefully reduce any problems next time around.
Emergency declarations were issued last week for Yuba and Sutter counties, where early estimates of storm costs and damage are in the millions of dollars.
The governor initially approved emergency declarations for 23 counties.
Appeal-Democrat reporter John Dickey can be reached at 749-4711. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.