Cold Storm Rolls through the Valley

December 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A winter storm warning is in place for the foothills and the sierra.The worst of the storm is forecasted about midday Monday, but we're already starting to see rain Monday morning, and some parts, even snow. The snow level could go down to a 1,000 feet!

Merced County could get up to an inch of snow on the valley floor, with a possible dusting of snow in Fresno and Madera counties.

Fresno County drivers are waking up to wet roads, but this is only the beginning of what could be some wicked weather. Merced County is bracing for what could be the first snowfall in more than five years. Public Works crews are on standby and the Merced County Sheriff's Department said deputies are ready to lend a hand. "Most of our guys have their cold weather gear on. They're prepared for it. They traffic the high visible areas just to prevent traffic and slow it down," said Deputy Tom MacKenzie.

The Merced Fire Department is handing out empty sandbags to residents who need them with sand available in ten different locations.

The City of Clovis has more than 100 sand bags ready to go for residents worried about flooding. They're at the City Yard on Sunnyside near Tollhouse.

The City of Fresno isn't handing out any sandbags, but they are asking anyone who sees a blocked drain to call the city hotline at (559) 621-CITY or (559) 621-2489.

The weather is creating a challenge in the mountains. Authorities say snow and poor driving caused multiple-car pile-ups to the north.

An accident caused traffic to back up on Interstate 80 near Dutch Flat Sunday. Many people had to cancel their plans to ski or cut down the family Christmas tree because they just couldn't get through.

The Highway Patrol reminds people to drive cautiously in the rain and snow.

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