Wintry spring storm slams California with snow, heavy winds

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A storm that delivered a body blow to Northern California, endangering homes and leaving 40,000 customers without electricity, rolled through the Central Coast Friday toward Los Angeles.

The weather system dumped fractions of an inch of rain in San Luis Obispo County but Rocky Butte, a summit near San Simeon, received nearly 5 inches over 24 hours.

Rain was expected to continue shifting slowly southward before the system finally tapers off late Saturday.

Showers were likely and thunderstorms were still possible in the north through Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm delivered a hard punch to that region beginning Thursday, softening already saturated soil and adding an inch or two of rain to an area that has already seen months of storms.

The storm brought a rainfall total of 86 inches to the northern Sierra Nevada for the water year that began in October, making it the region's second-wettest year on record, according to the weather service.

In Benecia, east of San Francisco, a woman was hospitalized with a head injury after a tree fell on her home Thursday night. She was expected to survive.

Residents of at least six homes in Oakland were forced to evacuate Thursday night following a landslide. Nobody was hurt, but three of the endangered homes were red-tagged Friday, meaning they were unsafe to live in while the soil continued to slide.

Diane Henderson told KGO-TV that mud and water flooded into her house.

"Came down and I guess came through my back bedroom and bathroom and down through the hallway and then all through the patio," Henderson said. "It's burst through and started coming down really fast."

"We heard a strange noise, like a pile of bricks tumbling down the hill," said Davitt Moroney.

His roadway gave way, dumping mud, trees and debris against a house below to the roof.

"I've seen about enough of this rain. We all wanted rain at the beginning of the winter, but this is too much," Moroney said.

The storm also sent winds of 40 mph and stronger lashing the San Francisco Bay area.

The winds capsized an uncrewed, 112-foot barge carrying a crane that was contracted for work by the Bay Area Rapid Transit agency.

The barge sank shortly before 12:30 a.m. Friday and authorities surrounded it with a boom to prevent more than 4,000 gallons of oil and fuel from leaking into the bay before the owner can have salvage divers raise it.

The winds also downed trees and power lines.

More than 40,000 Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers in the San Francisco Bay Area were without power Friday morning but power was later restored.

The Mammoth Mountain ski resort in the eastern Sierra Nevada reported early Friday that up to 26 inches of snow fell overnight, with more expected over the next day or two.

That raised the season total to 562 inches, or nearly 47 feet.

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