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Big Snows Come to California — Finally — Ahead of Long Holiday Weekend

California skiers and riders are facing the best conditions of the season after recent storms dumped snow from Lake Tahoe to Mammoth Lakes, frosting slopes ahead of the long Martin Luther King holiday weekend. It was a warm storm, particularly for L.A.’s local mountain resorts, and San Bernardino Mountain operations were hoping that Monday’s rain would turn to snow on Tuesday.

Storm Triggers Flooding, Mud Flows and Freeway Closures Throughout Thomas Fire Burn Area

Heavy rain triggered freeway closures throughout the region Tuesday and unleashed mud flows in areas ravaged by wildfires last month, leaving rescue personnel to scramble through clogged roadways and downed trees as they respond to emergency calls , officials said. As of 5 a.m., at least 5 inches of rainfall had been collected in a gauge north of Ojai in Ventura County, in the burn area of the Thomas fire, which forced evacuations and destroyed homes last month, according to the National Weather Service in Los Angeles.

Two-Day Storm Boosted Sacramento Rainfall To 88 Percent Of Average

The storm that swept through the Sacramento region Monday and Tuesday helped compensate for a dry December while causing its share of flooding and downed trees. The downpour began with 2.38 inches of rain in downtown Sacramento on Monday, the most on Jan. 8 since the National Weather Service began recording data in 1877, and had run up to 3.56 inches by 4 a.m. Wednesday. The previous record was set last year, when 1.96 inches was reported on that date.

Deadly Mudslides Plague Southern California, But Wine Country Stays Firm

As crushing mudslides buried homes and left more than a dozen dead in fire-ravaged Southern California on Tuesday, state and local officials were closely watching burned swaths of Wine Country to make sure the state’s biggest storm of the season didn’t bring similar devastation. Authorities reported minor rock slides along the Sonoma County coast, but inland areas stripped of vegetation by October’s firestorm and made vulnerable to slipping appeared to hold. Residents in hilly areas were told to prepare for evacuations, though none was initiated.

Safety Wasn’t The Only Thing On Oroville Dam Operators’ Minds As They Responded To Crisis, Report Shows

California water officials have always insisted public safety was their only concern as they struggled with the crisis unfolding last February at Oroville Dam. The forensic team investigating what happened at Lake Oroville, however, has pinpointed another factor guiding the decisions made by the Department of Water Resources: the state’s desire to continue shipping water to faraway farms and cities that rely on deliveries from the reservoir.