Heavy rains soak Northern California, causing flooding and some evacuations

Heavy rains soak Northern California, causing flooding and some evacuations
Anearly submerged gate shown Saturday in the backyard of ahome on the fast-moving Sacramento River in Verona, about 20 miles north of Sacramento.The homeowner reported that on Sunday,the gate was covered. (Sue Morrow / Associated Press)

Another storm pummeled Northern California on Sunday, dumping snow, heavy rain and powerful winds. It also triggered power outages and forced some evacuations.

About 18 inches of snow fell overnight in Kingvale, with an additional 6 to 12 inches of powder expected to fall Sunday. In the last three days, about 2 inches of rain fell in the valley areas, while up to 6 inches of rain hit the area's foothills.


"It was a pretty good run. It was really helpful in rising the water levels," said Johnnie Powell, a forecaster for the National Weather Service based in Sacramento. "Unfortunately, it's coming to an end."

After Monday, drier, warmer weather is in store for the week.

But the last five days of rain have brought above-average precipitation. During the first two weeks of March, about 4.28 inches fell in the Sacramento area. Normally, the area sees 3.15 inches over the whole month of March, Powell said.

From Saturday to Sunday evening, about 1 inch of rain fell in Richmond, about 0.8 fell in Napa and Sacramento, and 1.6 inches fell in Auburn. A half-inch to an inch was expected to fall through early Monday in the Central Valley, with 1 to 4 inches in the mountains and foothills.

The onslaught of rain lifted creeks and rivers near the flood stage. Alameda Creek near Sunol rose to 7 feet, triggering minor flooding, according to the National Weather Service.

In Morgan Hill, about 35 miles east of Santa Cruz, dozens of people at the Thousand Trails Campground were evacuated because of "rapid flooding" of the Uvas Creek, according to a statement from the campground.

A shelter was set up at Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church, according to Daniel Berlant, spokesman for the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Some residents in a hillside community in Moraga were forced to evacuate after heavy rains led to a landslide.

Winds were forecast to range from 20 to 35 mph, with gusts of up to 45 mph, according to the National Weather Service. A gust of 50 mph was recorded at the Redding Municipal Airport, Powell said.

The strong winds and rains contributed to power outages. More than 500 customers lost power near Sausalito after trees came in contact with electrical equipment, according to Pacific Gas & Electric. Downed power lines were reported in Oakland and San Jose, according to the utility.

Most of the snow was forecast in the Sierra as well as the Klamath Mountains, with 1 to 3 feet forecast for elevations above 6,000 feet. Up to 8 inches of snow was expected to fall near Lake Tahoe, with up to 4 inches near Bridgeport.

Scattered showers are expected to continue through Monday morning, with some possible thunderstorms, but the storm system is expected to move out of Northern California.

"The rain is coming to an end by Monday afternoon," Powell said. "We're in for a nice warm-up."


Temperatures should hover in the 60s on Tuesday and reach the 70s by Wednesday, he said.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.