From the Merced Sun-Star – The extreme rainstorm that Merced County has seen over the past days reached a critical stage Tuesday, as some residents fled their homes at a moment’s notice amid rising floodwaters. The Merced County community of Planada is one of the hardest hit, where all residents were evacuated by Sheriff’s Office deputies and other emergency personnel in the early morning hours. In the city of Merced, Bear Creek flooded over its banks. The creek is considered to be at flood stage when it reaches a depth of 23 feet; by Tuesday morning, the creek was at 26 feet. (more)