Heavy Rain, Fierce Winds Batter Parts of California - News Hunter Magazine

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Friday, 12 December 2014

Heavy Rain, Fierce Winds Batter Parts of California

One of the strongest West Coast storms in years hit northern and
central California on Thursday, drenching the region with as much as
13 centimeters (5 inches) of rain, accompanied by wind gusts of 230
kilometers (140 miles) an hour.

The storm closed San Francisco Bay-area schools, flooded highways and
knocked out power to nearly 227,000 customers. A downtown subway
station serving San Francisco's financial district was closed through
the morning commuter rush because of a power outage, and the city's
electrified bus system was halted in many areas, transit officials
said.

Nearly 240 departing and incoming commercial flights had been canceled
at San Francisco International Airport by late morning, and delays for
other flights averaged two hours, airport duty manager Bob Ritiski
said.

Northeast of San Francisco, winds howled through Sacramento, the state
capital, rattling buildings and whipping through trees before dawn,
followed by heavy downpours as the morning commute was getting
started.

The National Weather Service issued flash-flood, heavy-surf and
high-wind advisories for the region, warning that torrential rains
could lead to mudslides in foothill areas scarred by wildfires earlier
in this year.

As much as a meter (3 feet) of snow was predicted this week for higher
elevations of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. But meteorologists
said many months of rainfall would be needed to pull the state out of
its record, multiyear drought.

The storm was expected to spread by Thursday night into Southern
California, in what would be area's second major storm in a week. A
third storm system has been forecast for this weekend.

Municipalities handed out sandbags to help residents ward off flooding
and reminded them to stock up on emergency supplies.

Supermarkets were emptied of bottled water Wednesday night. At a
SaveMart supermarket in Sacramento, shoppers combed the aisles for
prepared foods that could be served without cooking in case of a long
blackout.



Credit: VOA News

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