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Weekend Storm Brings More Power Outages, Road Closures, Avalanche Threat


UPDATE 1/22/17 1:45 p.m.: Power has been returned to most people in the Sacramento area after high winds led to outages Sunday morning. As of 1:45 p.m. Sacramento Municipal Utility District was reporting 270 customers without power due to 30 outages.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento says hazardous mountain travel with chain controls and white-out will continue through Monday, with up to 4 feet expected above 4,000 feet, and the Central Valley will see an additional 0.5 to 2 inches of rain.

Localized flooding continues to be a concern. At higher elevations, the snow accumulation poses the threat of avalanches throughout the Sierra.

UPDATE 1/22/17 12:50 p.m.:  (AP) -- The Sierra Avalanche Center has warned there is a "high avalanche danger" at all elevations of the Sierra Nevada mountains because of heavy snowfall that has closed several ski resorts.

The center advised Sunday against travel in the area, warning of intense snowfall rates and gale-force winds.

National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Anderson said that up to 4 feet of snow were forecast above 4,000 feet, which includes the Lake Tahoe area. And more snow was expected at higher elevations.

The Alpine Meadows ski resort was closed Sunday, according to its website. The Squaw Valley resort opened limited trails, saying it had picked up 16 inches of snow in the past 24 hours.

UPDATE  1/22/17  7:30 a.m.: Gusty winds early Sunday morning are downing trees and causing power outages.

According to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, 9,434 people are currently without power in the Sacramento area, due to 50 outages. The utility says it is working to restore power.

Meanwhile, heavy snow conditions are causing road closures in the Sierra mountain passes.

A new storm system is expected to land in inland Northern California Saturday, bringing a night of heavy rain in the Central Valley and snow in the mountains.

According to the National Weather Service in Sacramento, the system will bring more windy conditions Saturday night through Sunday morning, with winds up to 35mph and gusts above 50mph. The winds will be at their strongest Sunday morning. NWS warns that the winds could lead to more downed trees and power outages.

The storm is predicted to bring 1-2 inches of rain to the Central Valley and 2-5 inches in the Foothills. The mountains are likely to see 2-4 feet of new snow above 4000 feet and up to a foot as low as 3000 feet. NWS expects chain controls and hazardous travel in the mountains, and warns of localized flooding near creeks, streams and rivers.

The brunt of the storm is expected to pass by Sunday afternoon, but showers could continue through early Tuesday. The rest of the week is shaping up to be dry.

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