California Deluge: IDSS and Regional Response during the Historic Flooding in California in Early 2017 (113)

Matt Solum, NOAA/NWS Western Region Headquarters, Salt Lake City, UT

Scott Carpenter, NOAA/NWS Western Region Headquarters

Leslie Waite-Smith, NOAA/NWS Western Region Headquarters



From December 2011 to March 2017, the state of California experienced one of the worst droughts to occur in the region on record. In just a few months to start 2017, northern California experienced it's wettest winter in almost a century and drought conditions had been reduced significantly. Many parts of the state were not prepared to handle the huge volume of rain and snow as a result. The significant rains caused widespread flooding and damage to roads and highways alone was estimated at over $1 billion. The flooding also caused extensive damage to the Oroville Dam spillway which caused concerns for downstream residents that the spillway would collapse and send a wall of water downstream.

These events necessitated Impact-Based Decision Support Services (IDSS) be provided by the Western Region Regional Operations Center (WR ROC), local Weather Forecast Offices (WFO) and River Forecast Centers (RFC) to National Weather Service (NWS) regional, state and local core partners throughout this long-lasting and historical event. Onsite and remote support to the various emergency operations centers, including the FEMA Region 9 Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC), will be highlighted.