NORTHERN CALIFORNIA (CBSLA.com) — It was a deadly scene revealed by receding floodwaters in Marin County. A man’s body was found inside an upside down car. Police say it’s likely the driver lost control as a swelling creek swallowed the vehicle.
Storms also ravaged wine country in the Russian River Valley north of San Francisco. Crews frantically tried to save drivers as pounding rains covered roads. Rescuers in motorized rafts were sent out to look for stranded neighbors and bone-dry yards transformed into ponds. Creeks once a trickle, now look like raging rivers. The drenching also took down many trees.
There was so much rain fire officials opened the Sacramento River floodgates – the first time since 2005. The gates are only opened when river levels reach 30 feet and rising.
In Napa, major roadways had to be cleared. Flooding there also took down trees and made some spots impossible to pass. County officials say the good news is, no one was hurt or killed there. However, a downed tree at a golf course in San Ramon in the East Bay killed a woman.
And while Yosemite also took a soaking, the national park emerged relatively unscathed. The Merced River rose over its banks but the waters are now receding. There was no major damage but the park does remain closed.
But one of our state treasures wasn’t so lucky.
The Pioneer Cabin Sequoia Tree in Calaveras County, known as the Tunnel Tree, toppled over in the storm and shattered.
The space was carved back in the 1800s and was part of a forest of trees that are over a thousand years old.