Emergency

Monday, December 9, 2019

Helicopter Rescue Underway for Injured Forestry Worker in Hoopa

Posted By on Mon, Dec 9, 2019 at 12:52 PM

hoopa.png
A Hoopa forestry worker slipped down into a ravine off Big Hill Road and received serious injuries about 9:30 this morning, according to Rod Mendes, chief of Hoopa Fire and Office of Emergency Services. He said the man rolled about 300 feet from where he slipped.

“He is about 2,000 feet down from Big Hill Road,” Mendes said. “He has a serious back injury and is unable to walk.”

The injured man was with another forestry worker and Mendes said, “They were able to call out on radio.”

Because of the remote and rugged area the accident occurred, it took a long time to reach the victim. “It was 45 minutes to hike into him,” Mendes said.

In addition, the terrain means that the helicopter can’t land and the weather is adding to the issues. “Flying into that drainage is really dangerous,” Mendes said. “Getting a helicopter in because of the clouds and the fog is hard.”

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Thursday, December 5, 2019

UPDATE: CHP Releases Name of Santa Rosa Man Killed in 101 Crash Near Miranda

Posted By on Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 12:10 PM

chp.jpg
UPDATE:

The California Highway Patrol today released the name of the Santa Rosa man killed Nov. 27 in a head-on crash on U.S. Highway 101 near Salmon Creek Road that also injured two others.

According to a release, John Bare, 59, was driving a BMX SUV when he lost control of the vehicle amid winter weather conditions. His passenger sustained major injuries and the driver of the other vehicle suffered moderate injures in the collision.

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A man was killed and his passenger severely injured just before 1 p.m. today after the driver lost control of his vehicle for unknown reasons near Salmon Creek Road on U.S. Highway 101 and drove into the path of a Ford Excursion traveling in the opposite direction.

According to the CHP, the driver, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene and the passenger “sustained major injuries.” The driver of the Excursion suffered “minor to moderate injuries,” a release states.

U.S. Highway 101 near Miranda was closed for almost two hours during “the collision investigation and recovery of the vehicles,” according to the release. During that time, southbound and northbound traffic was diverted onto State Route 254.

The California Highway Patrol reports there was “heavy rainfall and hail” on that section of the roadway at the time of the head-on crash, which was immediately followed by “two separate non-injury collisions” in the same area.

Read the release from the CHP below:

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

HSU Student Killed in Holiday Weekend Crash

Posted By on Wed, Dec 4, 2019 at 7:25 PM

chp.jpg
A 19-year-old Humboldt State student was killed Nov. 30 when the 1996 Honda Civic he was driving westbound on State Route 20 in the Clearlake area lost traction on the wet roadway.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the car crossed over the double yellow lines and into the eastbound lane, colliding head on with a Toyota pickup driven by Nina Watanabe, a 65-year-old Elk Grove woman heading eastbound. Watanabe and her passenger received major injuries.

The student, Kenneth Xiong, who was from Stockton, was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to a letter from Humboldt State University to the campus community today, Xiong, a sophomore, was “pursuing his degree in Fisheries Biology.”

HSU is offering to help students grieving Xiong’s death. The letter suggested several numbers to call, including Counseling & Psychological Services at 826-3236.

Read the CHP release (prior to Xiong’s name being released) below:


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Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thousands Could Face Days Without Power as Temperatures Plummet

Posted By on Thu, Nov 28, 2019 at 11:31 AM

Thousands of Humboldt County residents woke up on this frosty Thanksgiving morning still without power and many are looking at several more nights in the dark.

A scattering of outages continues in the region after a so-called “bomb cyclone” hit Tuesday and Wednesday, leaving a swath of damage, including downed trees and power lines.
coldmorningnws.jpg
While the skies have cleared, frigid temperatures have ushered in the holiday. Daytime temperatures are expected to be in the 30s to 40s, while today and Friday morning are expected to bring the “coldest night and morning of the season,” according to the National Weather Service, which reminded folks to check in on their vulnerable neighbors, especially those without power.

For many, that could be several days or longer.

“There is widespread damage to power lines that is making it difficult to turn power back on for a large number of customers at one time,” the Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services stated in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “Power will return in increments but some outages may last through tomorrow or longer.”

According to the PG&E outage page, 175 customers in the Trinidad to Patrick’s Point area have an estimated restoration date of Dec. 1, as do another 65 in McKinleyville, 220 in the Kneeland area, 200 in the area off of Alder Grove Road, 60 next to Sequoia Park Zoo and 150 around Big Lagoon.

Another patch of outages, including 350 in the Glendale/Blue Lake area, 400 around Fickle Hill, more than 700 near Westhaven, 90 from Orick stretching to the Praire Creek Visitor Center and another 150 near Sequoia Park have no estimated time for restoration.

Some 500 customers in Freshwater are expected to regain power today around 9 p.m., according to the outage map.

Read the full Facebook post from the National Weather Service office in Eureka below:


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Wednesday, November 27, 2019

FIFTH UPDATE: 101 at Miranda is Back Open After 'Multiple Collisions'

Posted By and on Wed, Nov 27, 2019 at 2:04 PM

One of the many trees that came down during the storm. - HCSO
  • HCSO
  • One of the many trees that came down during the storm.
FIFTH UPDATE:
Caltrans reports at 3:30 p.m. that traffic on U.S. Highway 101 at Miranda is now moving. Southbound lanes have been moving, with northbound expected to open "any minute now," according to Facebook post.

FOURTH UPDATE:
Caltrans is reporting at 2 p.m. that “U.S. Highway 101 has closed in the Miranda area of Humboldt County.”

“Crews are responding to multiple collisions due to hail and icy road conditions,” the Facebook post states. “We currently do not have an estimated time of reopening but will update you here as soon as new information comes in. Please, please, please, slow down out there and drive for the conditions on the road.”

According to Caltrans' QuickMaps site, the closure is expected to last until at least 6 p.m.

THIRD UPDATE:

Snow plows were clearing roads across the region just before 12:30 p.m., with one operating on U.S. Highway 101 between Orick and Klamath, another between Blue Lake and Willow Creek as well as near Salyer on State Route 299 and another clearing State Route 36 around Dinsmore, according to the Caltrans QuickMap.

SECOND UPDATE:

The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services says PG&E is reporting 19,500 customers were still without power this morning after wild winds hit the region.
“PG&E crews are beginning damage assessments and once complete will begin power restoration,” the OES post states. “There is no timeframe on how long restoration will take. It is possible that outages may continue into tomorrow.”

For updated information, visit PG&E at: www.PGE.com/outages.

UPDATE:

According to Samantha Karges, spokesperson with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, there were no reports of damage to critical infrastructure from the storm, but the office did receive reports of fallen trees and power lines. Karges also said that there were no reports of storm-related injuries made to the sheriff’s office.

As of 11:30 a.m., outages included 500 in the Freshwater area, another 550 in a swath stretching from Ferndale to the Lost Coast, almost 3,000 in McKinleyville/Clam Beach, nearly 2,000 in Blue Lake and around 1,400 from Patrick’s Point to Westhaven. Some customers are coming up on 24 hours without power, according to the PG&E outage map.

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Thousands remain without power this morning after the first major winter storm made its way through the region, leaving downed trees and causing dozens of accidents.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento reported the storm had undergone “Bombogenesis,” which is “defined as a mid-latitude cyclone that drops in surface barometric pressure by 24 or more millibars in a 24-hour period.“


While the sky is clearing, the National Weather Service warns that the storm will continue to bring snow to the mountains and low-lying areas may see hail through the afternoon.

“Winds have generally diminished but will remain locally gusty through this morning,” the NWS weather advisory states. “Major travel impacts will continue today with many chain restrictions and delays, particularly across interior mountain roadways above 1,500 to 2,500 feet in elevation.”

Damage caused by the high winds includes the canopy at the Texaco Station in Eureka at 4th and R Streets, which was partially taken down by the storm, and a bayside billboard along the U.S. 101 Safety Corridor.
The California Highway Patrol reported a major uptick in calls for response during the storm. As of 10:30 p.m., CHP dispatch had more than 360 calls compared to 130 the day before.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) answered over 90 calls for service during yesterday’s storm in a 12 hour period.

According to a press release, the Cal Fire Humboldt-Del Norte Fortuna Emergency Command center dispatches for 36 agencies and ambulance companies throughout Humboldt County for all types of emergency services like vehicle accidents, power issues, fires and medical aids.

Cal Fire is urging residents to drive safely during harsh weather conditions.
A branch broken off a tree as a result of the storm. - KALI COZYRIS
  • Kali Cozyris
  • A branch broken off a tree as a result of the storm.
“Do not drive if you don’t have to,” the release states. “Be prepared in the event of a power outage. Have flashlights and food available.”

The Humboldt Bay bar entrance, which was closed last night, has been re-open but the Eureka office of the National Weather Service warns that waves are still in the 15-to-18-foot range.

This post will be updated throughout the day.
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Coasties Brave 'Extremely Dangerous' Conditions for Training

Posted By on Wed, Nov 27, 2019 at 12:57 PM

When heavy seas hit the North Coast, the Coasties hit the waves. - U.S. COAST GUARD
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • When heavy seas hit the North Coast, the Coasties hit the waves.
When what the Eureka office of the National Weather Service deemed “extremely dangerous ocean conditions” hit the North Coast on Tuesday, local Coast Guard crews hit the waves.

According to a Facebook post by U.S. Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay, crews set out to take advantage of the conditions for Surf Operations Training.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Winter Storm Packing a Punch on the North Coast

Posted By and on Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 7:10 PM

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The first real storm of the 2019-2020 season is slamming the North Coast – ripping off at least one roof, dropping snow, causing accidents and throwing large waves high onto the land.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento is reporting the storm has undergone “Bombogenesis,” which is “defined as a mid-latitude cyclone that drops in surface barometric pressure by 24 or more millibars in a 24-hour period.“

The Eureka office of the National Weather Service reports the “strongest winds” are expected to hit the North Coast between 7 and 9 p.m.
Kathleen Zontos, a hydrologist from the National Weather Service in Eureka, said “We’re looking at a major storm system. … It is kind of rare because it is intensifying so quickly. We are seeing gusts near 50 mph.”

Just before 7 p.m., thousands remained without power across a huge swath of Humboldt County, according to the PG&E outage map.


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APD Chief, Charmaine Lawson Ask Witnesses to Come Forward

Posted By on Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 4:01 PM

Charmaine Lawson speaks to the crowd gathered to honor her son and demands justice for him on the second anniversary of his killing. - FILE
  • File
  • Charmaine Lawson speaks to the crowd gathered to honor her son and demands justice for him on the second anniversary of his killing.
The mother of slain Humboldt State University student David Josiah Lawson has joined with Arcata Police Chief Brian Ahearn to tape a public service message asking for any witnesses to his April 15, 2017 stabbing to contact the department.

In the short clip, Charmaine Lawson says, “There is DNA evidence from the knife used to kill my son. Now we need eyewitnesses to come forth to help us get justice for Josiah."

Together, Charmaine Lawson and Ahern end the message by saying, “We need your help.” Listen to the audio below.
David Josiah Lawson - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • David Josiah Lawson
November marks 31 months since the 19-year-old criminology major was killed at a house party on Spear Avenue in Arcata.

Kyle Zoellner, a then 23-year-old McKinleyville man, was arrested at the scene and charged with Lawson’s murder, but Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Dale Reinholtsen later found insufficient evidence to hold him and the charge was dropped.

In February of this year, a criminal grand jury convened to consider charging Zoellner declined to hand up any indictments in the case, a rare outcome in such proceedings.

Charmaine Lawson has remained outspoken in her quest to find the person who killed her son, traveling to Humboldt County from Southern California almost monthly to host vigils.

The APD release about the public service message states that the ongoing investigation indicates there are witnesses from the party who have not yet been interviewed.

“Those who were present but have not yet been interviewed may have information, unbeknownst to them, that could assist in the overall investigation,” the release states.

Read the full release from the Arcata Police Department below:


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FIFTH UPDATE: Thousands Without Power as Strong Winds Arrive, Snow is Falling

Posted By on Tue, Nov 26, 2019 at 12:14 PM

A downed tree at Humboldt State University covered at least two cars. - PHOTO COURTESY OF PEGGY METZGER
  • Photo courtesy of Peggy Metzger
  • A downed tree at Humboldt State University covered at least two cars.
FIFTH UPDATE:

The CHP is reporting multiple incidents of trees or poles down in roadways, including on U.S. Highway 101 at Big Lagoon, Eel River Drive at Table Bluff Road, Old Arcata Road at the Bayside Cutoff and the State Route 255 offramp, among others.

Large swaths of Humboldt — from the Garberville area to Orick and inland to Hoopa and Willow Creek — were without power as of 3:15 p.m., leaving thousands with no estimated time of restoration, according to the PG&E outage map.

An injury accident on State Route 299 around 1:30 p.m. sent a vehicle over the embankment, according to the Caltrans Quick Map page, which reports the “road is snowy.”

The CHP incident page also indicates that heavy snow is falling in the Laytonville area.

The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services notes: “There is potential for unexpected power outages and downed power lines from the winds. It is best to stay indoors on lower levels of your home and avoid being around windows.”

THIRD UPDATE:

The Humboldt County Office of Emergency Services reports that snow has been falling at the top of Berry Summit on State Route 299, with the National Weather Service calling for 4 to 12 inches on the highway’s summits.

State Route 36 is expected to see 8 to 15 inches on its summits.

For information on chain requirements and other road conditions, visit Caltrans website at: http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/.

Just before 2 p.m., thousands in Humboldt County were without power, according to the PG&E outage map, including nearly 2,500 in Arcata, 1,800 in Blue Lake, 1,300 in the Indianola/Freshwater area, 700 in the Loleta area and almost 400 in Rio Dell.

The Eureka office of the National Weather Service calls the storm "unforgiving weather" in a tweet that trees are down across the region and there are reports of structural wind damage in Crescent City.

Like Redwoods State and National Parks, which closed earlier today, the Sequoia Park Zoo reports gates there will be closing at 3 p.m. due to safety concerns.

SECOND UPDATE:

Winds are already in the 20 mph to 50 mph range in the region and will continue to increase over the next few hours, according to the National Weather Service office in Eureka.

The PG&E power outage map is showing scattered outages across Humboldt just before 1:30 p.m., including one in the Loleta area that has left nearly 700 customers without power and another in Ferndale that has 800 out.
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A major winter storm began making its way into the region this morning, with the most damaging winds expected to hit this afternoon and continue into the night.

The Eureka office of the National Weather service is urging people to “travel with extreme caution” today and Redwoods National and State Parks is closing down due to safety concerns over falling trees and branches.
Gusts of 45 to 65 mph are possible in coastal areas, while ridges and mountain passes could see speeds in the 55 to 75 mph range.

On top of it all, this wild weather coincides with some of the year’s highest tides.
Tides ranging from 7.9 feet to over 8 feet began hitting the coastline Sunday and will continue through Thanksgiving, which — combined with elevated surf and southerly winds — could result in “some minor coast flooding,” according to NWS.
Centerville Road may need to be shut down Tuesday to mid-day Wednesday, according to the county of Humboldt.
That system is expected to bring rain and mountain snow Tuesday and the possibility of hail showers, most likely on Wednesday morning. Travelers are advised to carry chains on Mattole Road/Bull Creek and chains are required on Bair Road between Hoopa and Redwood Valley.

Posts from the National Weather Service in Eureka:


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Monday, November 25, 2019

Snow, Hail, Strong Winds and High Tides Forecast to Hit this Week, May Close Centerville Road

Posted By on Mon, Nov 25, 2019 at 10:14 AM

Centerville Road overrun by surf last winter. - COUNTY OF HUMBOLDT
  • County of Humboldt
  • Centerville Road overrun by surf last winter.
With the arrival of some of the year’s highest tides, Centerville Road at Centerville Beach may be shut down Tuesday to mid-day Wednesday, according to county.

Tides ranging from 7.9 feet to more than 8 feet began hitting the coastline Sunday and will continue through Thanksgiving, which — combined with elevated surf and southerly winds — could result in “some minor coast flooding,” according to the National Weather Service.

A winter storm is also slated to hit this week, with “very strong winds” forecasted to hit the region Tuesday afternoon and evening. That system is expected to bring rain and mountain snow Tuesday, and the possibility of hail showers, most likely on Wednesday morning, the NWS forecasts.

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