Evacuations lifted for Dunsmuir residents after storm brings flooding to the area

Feb 9, 2015 8:15 PM

Residents living in the Butterfly neighborhood of Dunsmuir were allowed to return to their homes Monday afternoon -- this -- after overnight rain created dangerously high water levels in the Sacramento River.

Dunsmuir Mayor Dave Keiser received a call from the Fire Chief at 2:30 this morning, that water levels were six-and-a-half feet above Lake Siskiyou Dam, and those living in the surrounding area needed to get out.

"The Sheriff's Office went door to door, telling people it's recommended they leave."

Mandatory evacuations were put in place for the Butterfly neighborhood around four O'clock Monday morning, after water levels rose more than three feet in an hour.
Ronald Hartzell and his girlfriend Terry remember being woken up by sheriff's deputies pounding on their door.

"They told us we needed to leave because the water was rising and it could come up over our wall...we have a cement wall."

An evacuation center was set up on Dunsmuir Avenue where Ronald and Terry were taken, along with their two dogs.
Five others also evacuated from the neighborhood of more than 50 people.

"It was coming up almost three inches near our wall."

Experts say the storm produced so much water, the Sacramento River now has six to eight times the average water flow.

"This is going to have minor impact on the North State, but snow is needed for the summer months and this will definitely fill Lake Shasta."

It's a situation that could have easily gotten out of hand, but Mayor Keisler says everyone banded together and pulled through.

"We had a plan of action and it worked, and there were no injuries and no damage...I'm proud our town came together for this."

In fact the plan worked so well, the mayor announced the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office was lifting evacuations at noon.
With no Plan B in place, the announcement was welcomed news for Ronald and his family.

"I'm just so happy I can go back home."

Everyone living near the Sacramento River in Dunsmuir is still on advisory until water levels subside.


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