SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Rough weather that gave a brief blast to Southern California was set to maintain its steady stay over Northern California into the weekend.
The storm closed schools and snarled traffic in Northern California on Friday, especially north of San Francisco in Sonoma County and Mendocino County, where rivers swelled and flood risk was high.
In the inland mountains, snow was forecast in the Sierra Nevada through the weekend. That snowpack normally stores about 30 percent of the water supply to drought-stricken California.
Roads were closed because of floods and mudslides. The closures included a portion of California Highway 1 in Mendocino County where overnight slides nearly toppled a California Department of Transportation dump truck with an employee inside. The truck hit a guardrail — stopping its fall — and landed at a 45-degree angle. No one was injured.
Bobby Rehfeldt of Goodman Building Supply off U.S. 101 in Mill Valley, said Friday that most of the customers in the busy store were thrilled with the rain, although some are understandably unhappy about leaks.
“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,” he said. “It’s just rain, and we need it.”
Powerful rains also slammed the central part of the state, flooding streets in Fresno and briefly shutting down the airport there.
In Southern California, Friday afternoon rain fell in torrents in foothill areas, dumping nearly a quarter-inch in five minutes in the northeastern suburb of La Canada Flintridge, the National Weather Service reported.
In Riverside, east of Los Angeles, the storm snapped a dozen power poles, littering roads with electrical lines, closing streets and leaving about 3,000 customers without electricity, city and fire officials said.
In the Hollywood Hills, firefighters rescued two hikers who climbed a tree and were afraid to risk a rain-soaked trail on Mulholland Drive, Stewart said.
Locals suffering through years of drought and a dry winter were happy to see the wet weather.
“I love the smell, the fresh clean air because it takes the dirt out of the air. I like seeing it. It’s been awhile,” Peer Swan, a board member of the Irvine Ranch Water District, told KABC-TV. “I’m afraid that when I have to walk up to my car without an umbrella I’m going to get drenched, but I don’t mind.”