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COUNTYWIDE : Sun Gives Respite After Rainstorm

The sun shone on Ventura County Saturday as residents sawed up fallen trees, cleaned mud from streets and recovered from the county’s heaviest rainstorm in five years.

But the sunny skies and warm temperatures might be just a respite from the storm to come, said Terry Schaeffer of the National Weather Service in Santa Paula.

Schaeffer said at least two storms are on the county’s horizon in the next week, with one due as early as this evening. He said he did not expect either of the coming storms to have the force of last week’s rain.

That storm turned dry riverbeds into torrents, drenched farmland, caused scores of accidents and ended a seven-week dry spell.

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Six to 10 inches of rain fell in the county’s mountains, and five to nine inches dropped along the coast, Schaeffer said. County water supply officials, however, said the rainstorm would not end the five-year drought.

Saturday, temperatures throughout Ventura County averaged in the mid- to high 60s.

Bob Thompson, 28, of Ventura woke up to sunshine and the information that a 30-foot tree in his yard had fallen into the street. It had to be cut up to clear Day Road for traffic.

“It was a nice tree, too,” Thompson said. “We had to trim it often but never had any problems with it.”

Thompson said he left home Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. and did not return until 3:30 a.m. Saturday, when he went immediately to bed. He didn’t know anything about the tree until he went outside Saturday morning.

Neighbor Bill White said Day Road becomes a river in heavy rainstorms. White, who has lived in the neighborhood for 28 years, said rainwater gushed through the gate of Arroyo Verde Park and flowed down the street with such force that it lifted a dumpster and floated it down the hill.

The storm caused a number of county roads to be closed, but by Saturday night, only two remained impassable. Grimes Canyon Road and Balcom Canyon Road between Moorpark and Fillmore were closed by rock and mud.

Authorities said they did not know when the roads would reopen.

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