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Storm packed punch across region

Armando Gonzalez of Rio Linda rides his quarter horse Gitano on a flooded bike trail near Roy E. Hayer Park in Rio Linda on Friday. “I’ve seen it worse than this. It looked like a lake and you couldn’t see the grass,” Gonzalez said in Spanish.
Armando Gonzalez of Rio Linda rides his quarter horse Gitano on a flooded bike trail near Roy E. Hayer Park in Rio Linda on Friday. “I’ve seen it worse than this. It looked like a lake and you couldn’t see the grass,” Gonzalez said in Spanish. hamezcua@sacbee.com

The big storm of 2014 wound down with showers Friday morning in Sacramento and snow falling in the Sierra Nevada.

Storm rainfall totals for the Sacramento region were impressive.

A Dec. 11 record for rainfall was set at Sacramento’s Executive Airport, where 2.39 inches fell Thursday. That broke the previous mark of 2.0 inches set in 1995, according to the National Weather Service.

The official Sacramento rain gauge near California State University, Sacramento, registered 2.10 inches for Thursday. That amount fell just short of the record of 2.27, also set in 1995.

It was enough to rank among the top 10 wettest December days in Sacramento. But it was a long way from reaching into the 10 wettest days ever, which have all seen rainfall between 3 and 5 inches. The city’s wettest day ever was April 20, 1880, with 5.28 inches of rain.

By Friday night, water level at Folsom Lake rose to 395.6 feet, up about 4 feet after the latest storm, the weather service reported.

The much-anticipated storm started warm but cooled as the weather front exited, dropping snow levels to about 4,500 feet overnight.

In the Sierra, a layer of new snow and clearing weather conditions will make for the best ski weekend of the season in Northern California.

Sugar Bowl at Donner Summit reported Friday that the storm that began pounding the region Thursday dumped 18 inches of snow at the resort’s 6,883-foot elevation base and 24 inches at the 8,383-foot summit.

Kirkwood Ski Resort on Friday morning reported 13 inches of snow in 24 hours.

The weather service reported that about 1 to 2 feet of snow fell above the 6,000-foot elevation. Blue Canyon along Interstate 80 had about a foot of new snow, and Kingvale, at 6,100 feet, had about 9 inches.

Down in Sacramento County, the week’s rain caused streets and creeks to flood in many areas, but caused little property damage. The county received just one report of structure flooding.

“It was relatively uneventful, considering what it could have been,” said Diane Margetts of the county’s Department of Water Resources.

The county received 179 calls for service related to the storm, the vast majority for street flooding. The highest concentration of calls came from Arden Arcade or nearby.

Water in Arden Creek hit monitor stage at Watt Avenue and Winding Way near American River College. Deer Creek flooded at Scott Road. Dry Creek flooded at Vernon Street and was close to flooding in other areas Friday night.

Early Friday night, emergency crews had to rescue four boys from Dry Creek in Placer County when they lost control of a kayak in the engorged creek. None of them were injured.

The skies are expected to clear until Sunday night, when rain and cooler temperatures are forecast to come into the area.

The Sacramento region can expect rain through Thursday, but not nearly as much as this week, said Dan Keeton, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Call The Bee’s Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.

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