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Authorities warn flash floods, mudflows, rockslides possible in heavy Calif. rain

SAN FRANCISCO — Tourists streamed out of Yosemite National Park, San Francisco baseball fans had a game cancelled by rain for the first time in a dozen years, and authorities kept a close eye on swelling rivers and rising water at a damaged dam as a “Pineapple Express” storm drenched Northern California.

San Francisco had record rainfall on Friday as an “atmospheric river” of subtropical moisture streaming from Hawaii pounded the north while leaving Southern California high and dry. 

Here’s how this #AtmosphericRiver has been playing out over the last few days. Short of the long…deep sub-tropical moisture tap.
HT to @UWCIMSS for the 🛰️ loop.#cawx #castorm

— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) April 7, 2018

No major problems were reported, but flood warnings and watches remained in effect Saturday for the Sierra Nevada, the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco and other areas while authorities warned that flash floods, mudflows and rockslides were possible in heavy rain, especially in the wine country north of San Francisco where wildfires last October stripped the ground bare of soil-gripping plant life.

Runoff from melting snow could add to the chance of rapidly rising mountain streams and rivers in the Sierra, the National Weather Service warned. 

Flood advisory in effect for portions of #MarinCounty and the #SF Peninsula/#SantaCruz Mountains.
Moderate rain with more to come is causing local flooding and rises in creeks/streams.#DriveSafe and don’t drive through flooded roads.#cawx #castorm

— NWS Bay Area (@NWSBayArea) April 7, 2018

Yosemite National Park closed campgrounds and lodging in its busy Yosemite Valley because of flooding concerns, with the Merced River there expected to peak 5 feet above flood stage on Saturday. 

“Due to anticipated flooding, Yosemite Valley is closed,” the National Park Service said on its website. “We will evaluate conditions on Sunday morning and open as soon as it is safe. All other areas of the park are open, conditions permitting.” 

Downtown San Francisco saw nearly 2 inches of rain Friday, making it the fourth-wettest April day since records began.

San Francisco International Airport reported about 150 cancelled flights because of the weather and others were delayed an hour or more.

A cancelled flight stranded Santa Rosa native Lydia Smith who was trying to reach Oregon for a baby shower.

“I’m like on the verge of tears,” she told KGO-TV.

The opener of the San Francisco Giants-Los Angeles Dodgers weekend series was rained out, the first at the Giants ballpark in 12 years. Saturday’s game was also pushed back by two hours to 3:05 PDT. 

Sacramento broke its record for the day with well over an inch. Some areas got much more rain, however.

In Sonoma County on Friday, rescuers pulled two people and two dogs from a car that became swamped to the door handles on a flooded road. Bodega Bay in the county received nearly 6 inches of rain for the day — more than the entire rainfall total for March, according to the weather service.


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