EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

December 3, 2012

More heavy rain expected to hit drenched California

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Northern California residents recovering yesterday 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 today, 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.

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.”

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