Should Highway 99 in Sacramento have closed sooner during storm?

The storm that swept through Northern California on New Year’s Eve led to some dangerous flooding and three people dying in Sacramento County.Along Highway 99 near Dillard Road, where two bodies were found, some questioned why that stretch of road was not closed sooner. Several people in that area had to be rescued after getting caught in the floodwater.Danielle Hibbitts was driving north from her home in Stockton to Sacramento, where she had planned to go to a comedy show for New Year’s Eve. Instead, she said she got stuck in the flooding. She said she did not realize that she was in danger until it was too late.”It should’ve been blocked off. Police should’ve been there to divert the traffic, cones or Highway Patrol to let people know that part of the freeway was out,” Hibbitts said. “There was no prior notice or anything.” Caltrans said more than 20 cars were stranded in the floodwaters. Crews shut down that portion of the highway after midnight on Sunday. However, considering that the rainstorm was expected and that the stretch of Highway 99 near Dillard Road is an area known to be prone to flooding, KCRA 3 talked to Caltrans about whether the highway should have been shut down sooner. “Mother Nature kind of caught us by surprise there with the amount of water that got through there in such a quick amount of time, and so we didn’t have staffing there that we have now,” Caltrans Spokesperson Steve Nelson said. “So, now we’re actively monitoring it during these storms. We’ve got the equipment and everything ready to go if that scenario plays out again, but that night, unfortunately, we did not prepare for that kind of water to get into the roadway.”Nelson said that levee breaks in the area of ​​the Cosumnes River meant a lot more water went rushing through the highway than there would typically be during a “normal flooding event” due to rainfall.”Our top priority is safety and so we will be actively monitoring those trouble spots throughout the storms, and it’s looking like we’re not gonna get any break any time soon,” Nelson said. He said Caltrans’ goal for the future would be to eventually raise the elevation of that part of the highway to a 200-year flood level, but the agency does not currently have a program to do that yet.More wet weather will pass through Northern California this weekend. See full storm coverage here

The storm that swept through Northern California on New Year’s Eve led to some dangerous flooding and three people dying in Sacramento County.

Along Highway 99 near Dillard Road, where two bodies were found, some questioned why that stretch of road was not closed sooner. Several people in that area had to be rescued after getting caught in the floodwater.

Danielle Hibbitts was driving north from her home in Stockton to Sacramento, where she had planned to go to a comedy show for New Year’s Eve. Instead, she said she got stuck in the flooding. She said she did not realize that she was in danger until it was too late.

“It should’ve been blocked off. Police should’ve been there to divert the traffic, cones or Highway Patrol to let people know that part of the freeway was out,” Hibbitts said. “There was no prior notice or anything.”

Caltrans said more than 20 cars were stranded in the floodwaters. Crews shut down that portion of the highway after midnight on Sunday.

However, considering that the rainstorm was expected and that the stretch of Highway 99 near Dillard Road is an area known to be prone to flooding, KCRA 3 talked to Caltrans about whether the highway should have been shut down sooner.

“Mother Nature kind of caught us by surprise there with the amount of water that got through there in such a quick amount of time, and so we didn’t have staffing there that we have now,” Caltrans Spokesperson Steve Nelson said. “So, now we’re actively monitoring it during these storms. We’ve got the equipment and everything ready to go if that scenario plays out again, but that night, unfortunately, we did not prepare for that kind of water to get into the highway.”

Nelson said that levee breaks in the area of ​​the Cosumnes River meant a lot more water went rushing through the highway than there would typically be during a “normal flooding event” due to rainfall.

“Our top priority is safety and so we will be actively monitoring those trouble spots throughout the storms, and it’s looking like we’re not gonna get any break any time soon,” Nelson said.

He said Caltrans’ goal for the future would be to eventually raise the elevation of that part of the highway to a 200-year flood level, but the agency does not currently have a program to do that yet.

More wet weather will pass through Northern California this weekend.

See full storm coverage here

Comments are closed.