Mother Nature's delivery of stormy triplets to the Sacramento area dumped more rain in a five-day window than in the entire month of January, typically the wettest month of the year.
From Wednesday through Sunday, downtown Sacramento logged 4.74 inches of rainfall, compared with a normal of 3.97 inches in January.
Another smaller storm is set to move into the Sacramento area this afternoon, and then umbrellas will get a rest through the weekend.
The early-season downpour clogged drains with leaves, creating small lakes in roadways and causing water to creep into some homes. Trees and power lines were also downed, knocking out electricity to some areas.
In Grass Valley, a wastewater treatment plant was overwhelmed with rainwater, sending untreated sewage into Wolf Creek on Sunday morning.
Offsetting last year's dry season, the storm replenished reservoirs. Water spilled over the Englebright Dam on the Yuba River, with flow peaking at almost 30,000 cubic feet per second about 4 p.m. Sunday, according to the Department of Water Resources. By Monday afternoon, the spillover had slowed to 4,400 cfs.
The quick jolt of rain also sent homeowners scrambling for precious stores of sandbags and sump pumps.
"We're actually sold out of sump pumps and sandbags, as are my distributors," said Rick Johnston, assistant manager of East Sacramento Hardware on Folsom Boulevard. He said the store sold eight sump pumps it had in stock over the weekend.
"I've tried to order extra," he said. "I ran out of sandbags a week ago and am waiting to get more. I'm still getting calls from people today asking for them."
He's also seeing an uptick in sales of weatherproofing products and tarps.
Johnston said streets were flooded in the east Sacramento area Sunday.
"Oh, yeah, we had one employee who couldn't make it in because of the flooding," he said.
Sacramento city crews cleared nearly 7,500 drains since the start of the three-storm system on Wednesday, said Amy Williams, city spokeswoman. She said the city's 311 call center fielded about 5,000 calls for storm-related problems, with about 4,200 of those coming over the weekend. Only 38 calls were related to trees, she said.
On a typical weekend, the call center receives about 700 calls, Williams said.
Sacramento County got nearly 1,400 calls about downed trees, water drainage, and street and signal light problems.
Elk Grove distributed about 800 sandbags to homeowners, and 10 streets were flooded during the storm, said Christine Brainerd, a city spokeswoman.
In Roseville, one family was displaced and housed at a community center for a few hours, because of water seepage, said Brian Jacobson, a city spokesman.
About 21,000 homes and businesses in the Sacramento Municipal Utility District were without power at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Most of those outages lasted about a half-hour. Hardest hit were neighborhoods north of Highway 50, including downtown Sacramento, North Highlands, Foothill Farms, Citrus Heights, Carmichael and Fair Oaks. All SMUD power failures were restored by early Monday.
Wesley Nicks, Nevada County director of environmental health, said about 450,000 gallons of rainwater and sewage spewed into Wolf Creek between 8:30 and 11 a.m. Sunday, prompting a health advisory.
About 60,000 gallons of the sewage was pumped out of the creek, and because of the high dilution and fast water flow, Nicks speculated that much of the contamination has abated.
Weir overflows into Sutter Bypass at Colusa and Tisdale were continuing Monday, state Department of Water Resources officials said.
It wasn't yet known if snowfall broke a record at Mount Shasta, where some speculated that 14 to 18 feet of snow could pile up in just four days during the storm. National Weather Service forecasters in Medford, Ore., did not have official snowfall figures from the mountain yet.
George Cline, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sacramento, said the recent storm brings Sacramento's season-to-date precipitation to 7.78 inches, while the normal to-date level is 3.72 inches.
Cline said another fairly warm storm will come into the Sacramento area today, building up slowly and with its heaviest rain pelting the region Wednesday morning. The system is expected to bring another half-inch of rainfall.
Snow levels will hover at more than 7,000 feet elevation, so rainfall this week could cause rock and debris slides, especially in areas that were scorched by wildfires earlier this year, he said.