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Weekend of Rain Lingers as New Front Approaches : Storm: The wet weather causes several traffic accidents, but there are no injuries. Two kayakers are rescued from heavy surf.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Lingering showers across most of west Ventura County surprised some forecasters Sunday, who had expected a lull in the nearly weeklong storm before another front moved in today.

Rain-slicked roads contributed to a series of traffic accidents and prompted water rescues, but there were no reported injuries in any of the incidents, officials from several agencies said.

Ventura Harbor police rescued two kayakers from the north jetty after their vessels were slammed into the rocks by heavy surf.

Neither was injured, but one of the kayaks was destroyed, Deputy Robert Crane said. The second kayak washed up along a Ventura beach minutes later, sustaining some damage, he said.

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On the Ventura River, Ventura County Fire Department rescue personnel thought two teen-age boys were in serious trouble around 3:45 p.m. Sunday when a resident spotted them drifting in a small raft near Oak View.

Thinking they might have to pluck the teen-agers from the rapidly moving river, the Fire Department dispatched several engine companies to the scene not far from Linda Flora Drive, a department dispatcher said. By the time the first engine arrived, however, the teen-agers’ raft had come to a stop on a bank of the river.

In Santa Paula on Sunday, a pigeon found its way into a Southern California Edison substation, knocking out electricity for more than 10,000 customers shortly after 8 a.m.

“I think he probably was trying to escape the wet weather,” area manager John Britton said. “He just crawled into the wrong place.”

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The errant bird did not survive, but power company crews were able to restore service within one minute, he said.

“We had some minor trouble at individual houses that were mostly caused by trees or wet lines,” Britton said. “But all in all, we’re in pretty good shape.”

Winds of up to 25 m.p.h. swept across the county as temperatures hovered around 60 degrees, said Curtis Brack of WeatherData Inc., which forecasts for The Times.

“The next major wave looks like it’s due in (today),” he said. “For Ventura County specifically, you’ll probably see rain showers redeveloping (today), especially during the afternoon.”

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Meteorologists said Sunday’s daylong drizzle dropped about 4/10 of an inch over the west part of Ventura County, while the area east of the Conejo Grade received between one-quarter and one-third of an inch.

Today, however, the National Weather Service and other officials are calling for extended showers that could last into Tuesday night.

“We have a lot of light rain showers, mostly in Ventura County, but there are a few in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo as well,” said Robert Krohn, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Oxnard.

“This is kind of prelude,” he said of Sunday’s rain. “We have an upper-level low sitting off the coast of Washington that’s serving to pull in more moisture to the area.”

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A landslide late Saturday on Box Canyon Road closed off one lane, but Santa Susana Pass traffic between Simi Valley and the San Fernando Valley was not rerouted, Sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Nagel said. The one lane is still closed.

“Some boulders the size of pickup trucks came off the hills,” he said.

CHP officials Sunday were warning motorists to slow down and use extra caution. “The roads are all wet,” a dispatcher said. “So we’re dispensing our standard advice for driving during wet weather.”

Construction crews at the Ventura and Port Hueneme piers, which both sustained heavy damage during a series of storms over the past month, did not get much work done Sunday.

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But Denis Murrin, the Port Hueneme maintenance supervisor, said some progress was made at his wharf.

“We got a pile in the ground,” he said. “That shores up one section of the pier and will allow us to get the crane out to the end of the pier where the real damage is.”

Murrin said crews today will begin work on the end of the T-shaped wharf, where heavy surf knocked away several supports last week.

Lyla Alexander of Ventura brought her 15-year-old daughter, Betsy, to Port Hueneme on Sunday to inspect the damage firsthand.

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“I’m just glad I wasn’t on it when it broke,” the teen-ager said, standing in a steady drizzle in front of the closed snack bar.

Jim Cushman, a partner in the firm contracted to repair both wharves, said continuing showers would further delay the rebuilding.

“If there’s no more rain, then there’s no more problems,” he said, inspecting the progress at the Ventura Pier. “There’s a lot of other things we’d rather be doing.”

Correspondent J.E. Mitchell contributed to this report.

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* RELATED STORY: Continuing rain wreaks more havoc in Southland. A3

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

County Rainfall

Here are rainfall figures from the Ventura County Flood Control Department for the 24-hour period ending 6 p.m. Sunday. Oct. 1 is the beginning of the official rain year.

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Rainfall Rainfall Normal rainfall Location last 24 hours since Oct. 1 to date Camarillo 0.24 7.13 5.09 Casitas Dam 0.98 9.38 8.47 El Rio 0.28 8.82 5.35 Fillmore 0.43 8.95 7.17 Moorpark 0.35 6.88 5.35 Ojai NA NA 7.46 Upper Ojai 1.69 10.78 7.94 Oxnard 0.20 9.02 5.13 Piru 0.24 7.72 6.08 Santa Paula 0.12 7.98 6.49 Simi Valley 0.20 7.21 5.09 Thousand Oaks 0.20 7.45 5.44 Ventura Govt. Center 0.43 8.31 5.69


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