Weather won’t let up soon
This weekend will be a perfect time to watch football or hunker down with a good book.
Weather forecasters expect strong winds, rain and snow to continue through Monday. Snow levels could drop into the foothills today, with possible whiteout conditions in the high Sierra.
The National Weather Service has issued a travel advisory for the Sierra and avalanches are possible at the timber line level, according to the Tahoe National Forest.
Winds will be 20 to 30 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph in western Nevada County, according to Harry Stockman at Qwikcast.com. “Wind gusts have been clocked near 100 mph,” Stockman said Friday.
Up to eight inches of snow could fall as low as 2,000 feet, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento, with up to a foot possible at 3,000 feet. Snow levels could get as low as 500 feet today.
A low pressure system off the Pacific Northwest coast will continue to push storms over California today through Monday, “with rain and snow tapering off to showers by Tuesday,” Stockman said.
Lisa Randle of PG&E said 30 Penn Valley customers lost power Friday and another 115 were without it in the Welsh Lane area just south of Grass Valley.
PG&E suggested area residents have flashlights and fresh batteries for outages and to be careful with candles. If an outage should occur, refrigerators will keep food up to 48 hours if the door is not opened frequently, according to a PG&E advisory.
The National Weather Service is predicting highs in the upper 30s today through Monday. Lows are expected in the lower 30s.
Around the state, heavy storms Friday closed major mountain roads, lashed the coast with waves that killed a boater and dumped more rain on saturated slopes.
Bulldozer crews built sand berms on beaches to protect against high tides and fire-scarred foothill towns kept watch against mudslides.
Northeast of San Francisco, heavy rain and wind caused a levee to breach at Van Sickle Island in Suisun Marsh next to Suisun Bay, said Steve Martarano, a spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Game. The popular Grizzly Island wildlife area was closed because of expected flooding.
One person died and a second was rescued after a 34-foot sailboat was caught in heavy seas and 50-knot winds 11 miles southwest of the central coast town of Cambria.
In the Eastern Sierra, Mono County authorities were investigating the deaths of two Mammoth Lakes resort workers who were found in their snow-covered car Thursday morning after a night of freezing weather.
One possibility is that Karla Isbel Gastelum-Soto, 19, and Raymundo Soto Ansaldo, 23, both of Mexico, died from engine or heater fumes, said Shannon Kendall, a Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman.
The governor’s Office of Emergency Services activated its operations centers in Sacramento and Orange County. They were to be staffed around the clock through Sunday to provide coordinated action if expected weekend storms brought disaster.
“We’re getting a lot of heavy snow and rain along the Eastern Sierras, even have snow reported in Death Valley at the 3,000-foot level. We’re just really getting hit,” spokesman Eric Lamoureux said.
Drivers also were urged to use chains and caution on roads leading to Nevada, including Interstate 80 and Highway 50.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Power outage contacts
• To report an outage or get information about one, call (800) PGE-5002.
• To report a power emergency such as a downed line, call (800) PGE-5000.
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