County braces for more wild weather |

County braces for more wild weather

AP Photo/NOAAThe satellite image for Sunday, Dec. 15, 2002, shows a large storm swirling over the West. Heavy rain and mountain snow is falling over Washington, Oregon and northern California.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

After a weekend of heavy rain and wind, Nevada County and the rest of Northern California braced for more wet weather as forecasters predicated a similar storm that would pour as much as five more inches of rain on some regions by today’s end.

A total of 2.19 inches of rain fell in Grass Valley in 24 hours ending Sunday morning, and 2.43 inches in Nevada City, according to official weather reports.

However, veteran weather-watcher Karl Hilleman of Alta Sierra reported recorded 4.6 inches of rain there between Friday night and Sunday night. And Steve Martinez, a meteorologist with Roseville-based, said 6.85 inches was recorded at Lake Spaulding between Thursday night and 4 p.m. Sunday.

Sacramento International Airport received 2.55 inches and Auburn Dam received 3.56 during that same time period, Martinez said.

Most of the storm-related emergency calls in Nevada County came from the Truckee area, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported Sunday. But after a fatal accident Saturday afternoon on Highway 20 near Pleasant Valley Drive during heavy rains, the California Highway Patrol reported that Sunday was relatively quiet. “Today, it hasn’t been too bad,” said CHP Sgt. Jerry Morgan.

Nearly 900,000 Pacific Gas and Pacific Electric Co. customers in Northern and Central California lost power this weekend, PG&E reported, and more than 57,700 were still without power Sunday.

There were 31 different outages in the Sierra foothills, affecting more than 1,500 customers, most of whom live in El Dorado County, PG&E also reported.

Western Nevada County residents were luckier. Nine customers north of Nevada City were still without power Sunday, said PG & E spokesman Michael McColl, adding that power for them should be restored today.

The North Coast counties of Marin and Sonoma – with heavily wooded areas and rural neighborhoods – had some of the highest numbers of outages.

The Sierra also got a hefty blanket of snow over the weekend. On Lake Tahoe’s north shore, Alpine Meadow spokeswoman Gwen Robinson said she expected the conditions to be excellent once the wind died down, ”considering the 32 inches of powder up at the top.”

”It’s been snowing all morning,” she said.

Snowfall averaged one to two feet in the Sierra Nevada over the weekend, and the same amount was expected to fall above 5000 feet. through Monday.

The Pacific storm, the first in a series barreling down on the state from the Gulf of Alaska, soaked much of the state and the rain is expected to continue through the week.

In Sebastopol, most of the storefronts were dark Sunday morning. Residents gathered in the candlelit Lucy’s Cafe for hot coffee and pastries baked in the restaurant’s brick oven.

”It was wild,” Gloria Turchi said of the storm. ”There were a lot of trees uprooted. It blew off the shingles on our roof.” Turchi said her home was without power or a working phone line.

High winds, expected to hit the area again Sunday night and today, knocked down trees and fences in Petaluma, said Lt. Dave Sears of the Petaluma Police Department.

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