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November 30, 2012
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Wet winter storm knocks out power in Sierra Foothills

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. - A slew of power outages have been reported in western Nevada County, emanating from a storm dumping a torrential 4 inches of rain in the last 24 hours and lobbing gusts of wind.As of 12:30 p.m., Pacific Gas and Electric had a total of 3703 customers without power in the company's Sierra Division, a spokesperson reported.PG&E also listed 98 customers without power in Grass Valley, 191 in Nevada City, 33 in North San Juan and 29 in Penn Valley.A tree was reported blocking the roadway on Bar Hill Road, off Penn Valley Drive.Shortly before 7 a.m., a caller on the 100 block of Union Street in Nevada City reported severe flooding of a building, according to the Nevada City Police Department's dispatch logs.Reports are also coming in of a blown transformer on Wolf Road, knocking out power at Forrest Lake Christian school."The rain is going to continue," said Carl Swanberg, a National Weather Service forecaster in Sacramento.In addition to the 10 a.m. 24-hour total of 4 inches of rain, Swanberg said a subsequently Pacific storm front is expected to drop an additional 2.5 inches or more on the Grass Valley and Nevada City area. Sunday is expected to add another 2.5 inches as well."The heaviest rain will be more toward sat night through Sunday morning," Swanberg said.A flood advisory is in effect for western Nevada County until 4 p.m. Sunday, while higher elevations in the eastern county were issued a flood warning shortly before 10 a.m for Steamboat Creek and Truckee and Susan Rivers.Swanberg cautioned to expect small streams and creeks to run high, with the possibility of nuisance flooding from clogged storm drains."This situation could worsen, as far as the small stream-type flooding," Swanberg said.Adding to the potential dangerous situation is increasingly fast southeast winds, estimated to start at 10-20 mph today and Saturday, but increasing to 15-30 mph by Sunday, all with higher gusts around 40 mph anticipated, Swanberg said. A wind advisory is also in effect until 4 p.m. Sunday."You're getting saturated soil conditions," Swanberg said, increasing the likely hood of uprooted trees and downed branches."There is that potential," he said.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Nov 30, 2012 05:57PM Published Nov 30, 2012 05:55PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.