More heavy rain forecast for West Coast
One California man killed by falling tree
Sunday, January 1, 2006; Posted: 7:22 a.m. EST (12:22 GMT)
Napa Water Rescue personel carry a group of evacuees from a Wal-Mart on Saturday, in Napa, California.
GUERNEVILLE, California (AP) -- Northern California residents braced for a second storm to hit the region Sunday, a day after the first sent rivers spilling into cities and mud sliding into homes and on highways.
One man died Saturday when a storm-weakened eucalyptus tree toppled onto him, a woman suffered a broken leg when a mudslide destroyed her Santa Rosa home, and more than half a dozen people were rescued from rushing waters.
The Russian River near the Sonoma County town of Guerneville was a concern overnight, with waters quickly rising. The river was expected to crest at 45 feet -- 13 feet above flood stage.
"We are just very strongly recommending that people living in the lower areas lock up everything and go to higher ground," said Linda Eubanks of Sonoma County's Office of Emergency Services.
Officials sent high-water buses to pick up voluntary evacuees, but many chose to remain and ring in the New Year.
Maureen Weinstein hosted 10 friends and family members outside her Guerneville home, where they shot off fireworks, drank wine and listened to Motown.
"We live through [floods] a lot," Weinstein said, as the muddy river water hovered 10 feet away. "We're not that concerned this time because this year we have power and the Internet. I can monitor the water. It's wonderful."
The storm dumped an average of 4 to 5 inches in Northern California, with parts of Marin County recording more than 7 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
Sunday's storm was expected to drop another 2 inches in Northern California, up to 4 inches in Southern California's coastal valley and 8 inches in the mountains, forecasters said.
"It's looking pretty powerful," said NWS weather specialist Bonnie Bartling.
It also threatened to rain on Monday's Rose Parade in Pasadena for the first time since 1955.
On Saturday, at least six helicopter rescues were performed Saturday in Sonoma County. Firefighters rescued two people from a mobile home park, where 4 feet of rushing water washed at least one house off its foundation, fire officials said.
In the city of Napa, near the heart of wine country, the river rose 5 feet above flood stage, sending a surge of water to several blocks of downtown.
"We had so much water in such a short amount of time that manhole covers were popping all over the city," city councilman James Krider said.
Upstream in St. Helena, the Napa River reached a record 7 feet above flood stage before beginning to recede late Saturday. About 1,000 homes flooded, officials estimated.
In San Anselmo, the creek poured into as many as 70 downtown businesses, and two people rescued from the rising water were hospitalized with hypothermia, town administrator Debbie Stutsman said.
"The entire downtown area was under 4 1/2 feet of water," Stutsman said.
More than 600,000 Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers from Bakersfield to the Oregon border experienced power outages, spokeswoman Claudia Mendoza said. About 110,000 customers remained without service early Sunday.
Mudslides closed several major roads, including Interstate 80 in the Sierra Nevada about 25 miles west of Reno. Six tractor-trailer rigs were caught in one slide on I-80 early Saturday, but no injuries were reported.
The interstate, the major corridor linking Northern California and points east, was expected to remain closed for at least two days, state officials said.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
It never rains in California, it pours.
Meanwhile Texas has a drought.
Is this Global Warming, or Pat Robertson punishing people with his wrath.