A massive storm is affecting the western United States, dropping heavy rain and causing floods, mudslides, and evacuations. Significant flooding is expected in parts of drought-stricken California and western Nevada. At least three people have lost their lives by Monday, January 9, 2017. A series of Pacific storm systems will continue to impact the region through midweek, NWS warned, bringing periods of rain and snow, some of which could be heavy, to many areas. 

The storm, stretching all the way from Hawaii, has prompted the evacuation of hundreds of homes in northern Nevada and triggered flooding and mudslides that blocked major highways and stranded motorists in Northern California on Sunday, January 8, 2017.

A wind gust of 278 km/h (173 mph) was measured in the Sierras. A state of emergency has been declared in Nevada.

The Truckee River breached its banks in south Reno on Sunday, January 8, prompting the evacuation of at least 400 homes, some 1 300 people. The river was expected to peak about 1.8 m (6 feet) above flood stage Monday morning in neighboring Sparks, where several feet of water is expected to flood an industrial area where 25 000 people work, The Weather Channel reported.

This is a serious flood situation,” the National Weather Service said in a special flood statement late Sunday. Flood warnings continue along much of the Sierra’s eastern front and western Nevada into Tuesday. The Russian River in California’s Sonoma County has also breached its banks, prompting the closure of area schools.

Authorities were also watching rising water levels of Cosumnes, Merced and American. All roads leading to Yosemite National Park’s valley floor remain closed amid fears that the Merced river could overflow and cause major flooding.

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.@WashoeSheriff RAVEN took these great photos of the Truckee River yesterday afternoon.