FELTON, Calif. (AP) – Avalanche, flood and wind warnings were in place again Wednesday as another powerful storm hit Northern California a day after heavy rains caused rockslides that shut down highways and bridges.
The National Weather Service said the risk of flooding was high north of San Francisco along the swollen Russian River, which topped its banks during a series of storms last month.
Strong winds with gusts topping 60 mph were predicted in parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, south into the Santa Cruz Mountains and along the Central Coast.
In Southern California, commuters contended with dense fog and slick roads from ongoing rain showers.
Crews rescued residents from rising floodwaters Tuesday in Marin County, where a mudslide toppled trees and split a hillside house in half.
“This storm packed the biggest punch … of all the storms we had this year,” the county’s fire department Battalion Chief Bret McTigue said.
Nearly 5 inches of rain fell in a 12-hour span in the San Joaquin Valley, swamping roads and swelling waterways to critical levels.
Authorities said an earthen dam on Lewis Forks south of Yosemite National Park was in imminent danger of failing, and downstream residents in the rural Cedar Valley area should be ready to evacuate.
To the north, officials shut down water flow from a dam in Butte County after chunks of concrete went flying off the spillway, creating a 200-foot-long, 30-foot-deep hole.
The Department of Water Resources said the erosion at Lake Oroville does not pose a threat to the earthen dam or public safety, and the reservoir has plenty of capacity to handle the continuing rain.
The weather service said the storms were part of a “classic pineapple express,” referring to an atmospheric river phenomenon that carries moisture across the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii and dumps it on Northern California. It could deliver even more rain starting Thursday, forecasters predicted.
“If the model guidance is correct this next system could be even juicier moisture wise as it has a decent tropical connection,” according to a weather service statement.
Avalanche warnings were issued along the eastern front of the Sierra Nevada. More than a foot of snow was reported at ski resorts.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.