Residents residing on Airport Court – located in rural Manteca off Airport Way on the river side of the San Joaquin River levee – are currently under an evacuation warning.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office announced on Thursday that they had visited the residents living in the community in person to notify them to be prepared to potentially evacuate because of the rising San Joaquin River.
The community – which is a series of two-story, cabin-like homes reached by driving onto the levee at the end of Airport Court and driving a few hundred yards up the levee – can only be accessed by driving down onto the river side of the levee which makes it prone to flooding in any year where the San Joaquin River swells.
The residences in the area are built with the garages on the lower story and the living quarters on the upper story for this very reason.
As such, it’s possible for the lower, ancillary portions of the house to be inundated with water without impacting the living quarters upstairs. The houses at Weatherbee Lake behind what used to be Oakwood Lake are built much the same way due to propensity of flooding in the area when the river swells.
Much of the Wetherbee Lake neighborhood at the western end of Woodward Avenue was under 6 feet of water for 1997 for several months after San Joaquin River levees failed.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, residents living in the Airport Court or visiting the area is advised not to park on the levee to make sure that emergency vehicles can have access in the event of an emergency.
The water level on the San Joaquin River just north of the Airport Way bridge and near the Airport Court neighborhood was at 28.74 feet Thursday at 9:45 p.m.
That’s more than three feet higher than it was on Jan. 18
At least two more weather systems are heading toward the Northern San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra.
The first is a weak one expected to arrive today and last through Sunday.
It hast the potential in the Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop area to add 0.10 inches of rain with as much as 4 inches possible at Tioga Pass at 9,943 feet on Highway 120 at the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park.
The snow level could be as low as 5,000 feet.
The second storm arriving on the first day of spring on Monday and lasting through Tuesday may add as much as 48 inches of snow on the Sierra crest from Tioga Pass north to Ebbetts Pass on Highway 4 according to the National Weather Service.
The snow level could drop down to 3,500 feet.
In the valley, between 1 and 2 inches of rain could fall in Manteca.
Yosemite National Park has been closed since March 1.
There are plans for a tentative partial reopening on Saturday.
However, the Monday-Tuesday storm is expected to dump 5 inches of rain in Yosemite Valley.
To contact Bulletin reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.