Grass Valley sees rainiest day on record

This large tree came crashing into a home off Searls Avenue in Nevada City Sunday evening, cutting off power to nearby homes and stranding residents until the tree could be removed.
Photo: Elias Funez

As of Monday morning, Grass Valley had just had its rainiest day on record, according to the National Weather Service.

The 24-hour period beginning around 8 a.m. Sunday morning brought just over 9 inches of precipitation — a full 2 inches more than the area’s previous record for one day, 7.02 inches in December 2005.

The National Weather Service’s data for Grass Valley stretches back to October 1966.

A falling tree took out this power pole and transformer along the 11000 block of McCourtney Road Sunday afternoon. The road was closed in both directions for several hours.
Photo: Elias Funez

According to a list the National Weather Service’s Sacramento office released Monday morning, some locations in Grass Valley had recorded over 12 inches in the previous 72 hours.

In the same time period, Lake of the Pines and some Nevada City locations had recorded over 11 inches, and Penn Valley had seen over 9 inches.

Of the locations included in this regional list, spanning 21 counties, only Yuba and Placer counties had locations which saw greater rainfall in inches than Nevada County’s top rainfall amount in Grass Valley.

Grass Valley’s Engine 5 assesses the damage to a utility pole along Banner Mountain Trail Sunday evening. Damaged utility lines across the region were reported during the weekend’s storm.
Photo: Elias Funez
Firefighters work to clear damage from a tree that destroyed an awning and damaged parts of a home on Wendy Circle in Grass Valley during Sunday’s storm.
Photo: Elias Funez


A number of power outages hit western Nevada County on Sunday, with the number of PG&E customers affected peaking at over 5,000 that day.

As of 4:30 p.m. Monday, over 1,500 customers remained without power, reports state. This included dozens of small outages throughout western Nevada County, each affecting fewer than 50 people, as well as some remaining larger outages.

For example, restoration was expected Monday evening for 359 customers west of Nevada City who remained without power; 389 customers south of Alta Sierra; and 156 customers along Highway 49, between Holcomb and Cottage Hill drives.

A restoration time had yet to be determined for two outages each affecting around 100 customers — one along Highway 49, near La Barr Meadows Road, and another northwest of that, between Auburn and McCourtney roads — as well as another affecting 60 customers in Grass Valley, between East Main Street and Ridge Road.

PG&E communications representative Megan McFarland said Monday that the company’s total storm response over the weekend had involved around 3,000 employees and contractors across affected areas.

While the Bay Area was hit the hardest by this storm, said McFarland, the company also saw significant impacts in the Sacramento and Sierra regions.

“So, it’s really been all hands on deck,” said McFarland.

Regarding the timeline for full power restoration in the area, she said that each outage is different, but that PG&E crews remained in Nevada County making assessments and repairs as of Monday afternoon.

Authorities responded to a number of calls throughout Nevada County on Sunday regarding impacts from the storm.

Callers from eight different locations Sunday afternoon reported issues caused by fallen trees, including total or partial road blockages as well as damage to utility lines, county Sheriff’s Office logs state.

The California Highway Patrol helped close a portion of McCourtney Road due to a utility pole break on Sunday.
Photo: Elias Funez

Victoria Penate is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at

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