The third in a series of storms that bowled through the Sacramento region knocked out power, swelled creeks and flooded roadways Sunday before moving into the Sierra.
The trio of storms lashed the Valley and western Sierra Nevada. Elk Grove had 5.94 inches of rain from Friday morning through Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Roseville received 5.25 inches in that time. And at Kingvale, in the mountains at 6,200 feet, 14.37 inches of rain fell.
Even so, the region escaped with little damage.
Forecasters say the region isn't through with the wet weather just yet. Another soaking storm is expected to move through the area late Tuesday and into Wednesday. Then the weather is expected to clear up Thursday through next weekend.
State hydrologists were cheering the rains even as they kept a watchful eye on river levels. The state rainfall average to date exceeds the historically wet levels of winter 1982-83, said Bill Croyle, flood operations chief at the state Department of Water Resources. But the levels will be short-lived with drier weather moving in later in the week.
Still, he said, "We've made up significant ground. We definitely needed this series of storms to help with our water supply."
Skies over the Sacramento region had mostly cleared before noon Sunday after the brunt of the storm motored through.
That storm swamped utility crews who worked to restore power to hundreds of residents into Sunday afternoon, including more than 1,000 Pacific Gas & Electric Co. customers in Placerville, the utility reported. The foothill communities surrounding Sacramento were among the hardest hit.
About 400 Loomis residents were without power Sunday, while another 225 in Shingle Springs and 137 in Auburn had no electricity.
Power failures were also scattered across the Sacramento Municipal Utility District's service area, including at The Bee, early Sunday. About 460 customers were without power, mostly scattered in north Sacramento, Citrus Heights, Rio Linda and near Watt Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard, according to SMUD.
Sacramento County emergency-operations officials reported minor flooding and downed trees near Wilton in the south end of the county, "but there's nothing that's been reported of significance," said emergency services spokesman Steve Cantelme.
That did not stop calls from flooding Sacramento County Sheriff's Department emergency lines during the peak of the storm earlier Sunday, with many people calling for rides from homes boxed in by street flooding or requesting sandbags. Much of the local flooding was caused by leaves clogging drains.
Sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos said on the department's hotline that many of the 911 calls were non-emergency calls, and offered a storm weather reality check.
"People are going to need to empower themselves," Ramos said. "We can't swim up to people's homes and carry them on our backs to safety. Everyone all over is dealing with the byproducts of this bad weather."
In Roseville, a swollen Linda Creek that crested by early afternoon had begun to recede later in the day, said Megan MacPherson, city communications director. Dry Creek was expected to peak at 4 p.m., but was not expected to threaten homes, MacPherson said. Cirby Creek left its banks about 8:30 a.m. Sunday, but quickly receded and posed no threat Sunday afternoon, said city officials.
Residents left their Roseville apartment buildings at Cirby Way and at Quail Ridge West for a city shelter at the Maidu Community Center after street flooding soaked their apartments earlier Sunday. None were hurt, and some planned to relocate to nearby hotels.
The storms were expected to test Roseville, but numerous improvements put in place since the mid-1990s appeared to pay off, MacPherson said.
"Without those improvements, there would be flooding in several neighborhoods," she said.
In Sacramento, police responded to numerous traffic calls involving disabled vehicles on rain-swamped streets, said Officer Michele Gigante. But no major incidents occurred.
The heavy early-morning rains didn't stop the legions of runners in the annual California International Marathon or the drenched crowds that lined Fair Oaks Boulevard to cheer them on.
But the weather was bad enough in Placerville for Santa to take a rain check. Police canceled the 35th annual Hangtown Christmas Parade after rains overwhelmed storm drains across the city.
Farther up the Sierra, eyes were on the Truckee River and the warm storm that had been pounding it for several days. The river had bobbed above and below flood stage for days, before rained turned to snow.
Near-constant rain turned to heavy snow about 10 a.m. By 12:10 p.m., the National Weather Service had revised its Truckee-area forecast from "flood warning" to "winter storm warning."
Although residents along the Truckee were witnessing the river's highest levels in five to six years, "it's back in the safe zone," said Croyle at the state's Department of Water Resources. "It looks like the flood threat is alleviated."
Numerous power outages also were reported across Plumas County due to fallen and broken power poles.
In the Feather River Canyon in Plumas County, Highway 70 was still closed eight miles west of Pulga to the intersection with Highway 89 to allow PG&E crews to open gates at three hydroelectric dams to relieve road flooding.
The California Department of Transportation closed the section of Highway 70 on Saturday afternoon with plans to reopen by Saturday night. But the road remained closed Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, more than 1,600 PG&E customers in the Yuba County foothill towns of Brownsville and Challenge were also reportedly without power Sunday afternoon.