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Heavy rain, snow and wind batters California

By Brooks Hays
Heavy rain, snow and wind batters California
Residents in Northern California lined the banks of local creeks and the edges of roadways with sandbags on Saturday, January 7, 2017, in anticipation of record rains. Photo by John G. Mabanglo/European Pressphoto Agency

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Powerful storms continued to batter Northern California on Sunday, a day after rains triggered flooding and strong winds downed trees on Saturday. Flooding, mudslides and rockslides have been reported throughout the region.

A woman was killed on a San Francisco golf course on Saturday when a tree was felled by wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour -- according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Heavy rains swelled the Truckee, Merced, American and Russian rivers. Officials are monitoring water levels through central and northern California, as well as in Nevada. Ongoing flooding is expected through Sunday and into Monday, as rain and melted snow funnels downstream.

"Rivers and streams that flow out of the Sierra into the lower foothills and valleys on California and also into western Nevada will likely see the worst flooding in a couple of decades," reported Ken Clark, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather. "The greatest potential for destruction comes from the rivers that have little or no flood control, such as dams or catch basins."

The rain that fell near the coast came in the form of snow at higher elevations. Officials issued "extreme" avalanche warnings throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains, after more than 48 inches fell in two days.

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The weekend's storms -- dubbed "Pineapple Express" -- were the second to hammer California in the past several days. Winter Storm Helena dropped several inches and several feet of snow between Tuesday and Thursday of last week.

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