Prayed-for rains to soak California for third straight day - InfoNews

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Prayed-for rains to soak California for third straight day

Glendora work crews clear mud and debris along Kregmont Drive in Glendora on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. More rain is expected in the Southland today, with potential mudslides in area previously denuded by the Colby Fire. (AP Photo/San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Watchara Phomicinda)
December 04, 2014 - 5:23 AM

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A third-straight day of rains awaited California on Thursday, and the thirsty state will take it.

Two days of storms have proven to be what the dry state needed, adding to depleted reservoirs, quenching crops and even awakening picturesque waterfalls.

There was some flooding and evacuations in areas where hillsides were left barren by wildfires, but major damage was avoided despite some huge rainfall totals. One location, Yucaipa Ridge in the San Bernardino Mountains, received 9.8 inches of rain, the National Weather Service said.

Most other parts of the state received totals between 2 and 4 inches.

The storm dropped snow in mountains key to the state's water supply, and it made signature waterfalls flow at Yosemite National Park, including the 2,425-foot Yosemite Falls that had slowed to a trickle by mid-July.

"With the precipitation, they are looking good. They are flowing nicely," park spokeswoman Ashley Mayer said.

There were problems. The storm was the likely cause of a pair of sinkholes in San Francisco, including a 20-by-30 foot chasm in a residential neighbourhood.

And Sacramento's rush-hour commute was disrupted by freeway flooding, with lanes blocked along Highway 51, known as Capital City Freeway, and farther north along Interstate 80.

On Tuesday, gushing water and muddy debris poured from hillsides about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, forcing the evacuation of about 75 homes in Camarillo Springs for much of the day.

When the order was lifted, authorities urged people to stay away voluntarily. No major damage was reported.

In Orange County, about 60 homes in rural Silverado Canyon remained under a voluntary evacuation notice. The area burned over the summer and has been the site of previous mudslides.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the rain brought the region close to or beyond normal annual rainfall totals for the first time in years.

Just before the storm arrived, the Sierra Nevada snowpack — which counts for most of the state's water supply — was at just 24 per cent of normal for this time of year. But snow was building rapidly with reports of 10 inches of snowfall at elevations of 8,000 feet.

That good news was tempered by a stark reality: California needs many more such storms to pull itself out of a three-year drought.

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Associated Press writers John Antczak in Los Angeles and Kristin Bender in San Francisco contributed to this report.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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