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article imageRainfall in San Francisco Bay Area prompts flooding concerns

By Nathan Salant     Mar 12, 2016 in Environment
Monterey - Rainfall in Northern California is expected to continue most of the day Saturday leading to a major rainstorm late in the day into early Sunday.
As many as four feet of new snow could fall in the Sierra Nevada mountains, helping to relieve the state's multi-year drought that forced statewide rationing in 2015.
"There's going to be periods when it's pretty intense this evening and Sunday evening," said Wendell Hohmann of the National Weather Service in Monterey, according to the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.
The weekend storms add even more needed moisture to a state already inundated by early spring rain in both Northern and Southern California.
Rain on Friday closed schools and roads in Northern California and raised concerns about flooding from swollen rivers in Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino counties north of San Francisco.
Road closures included a portion of Highway 1 in Mendocino County on Friday, after a sliding hillside nearly toppled a California Department of Transportation dump truck being driven by a state employee.
A roadside guardrail stopped the truck, which landed at a 45-degree angle on the side of the road, and prevented injury.
Bobby Rehfeldt of Goodman Building Supply in Mill Valley that most customers in his store on Friday were happy about the rain but less than pleased about leaky roofs and windows.
"Lots of people are buying tarps and roof patch and heat guns to dry stuff up, anything for getting water off the ground, and sandbags are flying out of here," Rehfeldt told the newspaper.
"It's just rain, and we need it," he said.
Powerful rains also flooded streets in Fresno and briefly shut down the airport there.
In Southern California, nearly a quarter-inch of rain fell in five minutes in the La Canada Flintridge suburb, and firefighters had to be called to rescue two hikers who climbed a tree but were afraid to climb down to a rain-soaked trail along Mulholland Drive.
But local residents who had suffered through years of drought were happy with the wet weather.
"I love the smell of the fresh clean air because it takes the dirt out of the air," Irvine Ranch Water District director Peer Swan told KABC-TV, the newspaper said.
"When I have to walk up to my car without an umbrella I'm going to get drenched, but I don't mind," Swan said.
More about Rain, Storms, Bay area, San Francisco, California
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