More heavy rain expected to hit drenched Calif.
December 4, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Northern California residents recovering Monday from a series of wet, windy storms likely won’t get much of a break as another system is expected to drench the area.Up to 5 more inches of rain could fall in the region beginning Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.The rain could be especially heavy at times in areas north of Redding and across the Sierra Nevada, meteorologist Dan Keeton said.Still, it should be nothing like the downpours that left between 15 to 20 inches of rain in some areas over the five-day period that ended Sunday. Forecasters said the latest storm left the area faster than expected.”It’s going to be significant, but less impactful,” Keeton said of the coming rain. “There will be some isolated impact in certain areas, but nothing as widespread compared to what we saw late last week. This was a down payment on our winter water supply accumulation.”Pacific Gas & Electric crews continued to work on restoring power to about 8,000 users, a figure that was down from 57,000 on Sunday in areas stretching from Santa Cruz to Eureka and parts of the San Francisco Bay area.Three powerful storms drenched the region within a week. In the high Sierra, more than 5 feet of snow during the stretch forced the closures of a major road and a secondary roadway through Yosemite National Park, officials said Monday.Both roads typically close in the late fall when heavy snows arrive and reopen when weather conditions allow in the spring.Sunday’s storm dropped as much as an inch of rain an hour in some areas while toppling trees, bringing flash flooding to roadways and knocking out electrical service.”I think everybody got nervous last week,” Keeton said. “These storms came with plenty of warnings, but it rained so hard at times that many were still left surprised by what Mother Nature can do.”Rivers across Northern California swelled from the deluge but did not flood as much as expected. Flood warnings had been issued for the Napa and Russian rivers north of San Francisco, and for the Truckee River near Lake Tahoe.In Napa, officials had handed out more than 8,000 sandbags and about 150 tons of sand, but the city appeared to avoid any major damage.In Nevada, rescue crews searched for a homeless man in Reno who reportedly fell into the Truckee River from a limb Sunday night.A sudden shift in the weekend weather turned rain into snow, keeping rivers and streams largely within their banks in Reno and Sparks, Nev., and Truckee, Calif.In southern Oregon, the Coquille and Rogue rivers were both about 2 feet above flood stage as a result of storms.The weather service said more rivers along the coast and inland in the Willamette Valley could be flooded amid heavy rains.A Southern Oregon man was being held on $40,000 bail after being charged with disorderly conduct and recklessly endangering rescuers after a disagreement on whether to save his three boats that went downstream, authorities said.___Associated Press writers John S. Marshall in San Francisco and Martin Griffith in Reno, Nev., contributed to this report.