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Snowfall a Welcome Sign for Dry Mountain Towns, Snow Enthusiasts

With word of new snow on the mountains, Laura Kless woke up at dawn Wednesday, Jan. 10, dusted off her snowboarding gear and hit the winding road up to Big Bear from Huntington Beach — she wanted to be one of the first to get a taste of the slopes. Kless, a skier in high school who used to ditch class after fresh storms and picked up snowboarding over the past 20 years, knows the best day to hit the mountain is right after a snowfall.

Here are the Staggering Rainfall Totals from Tuesday’s Storm

Here’s a sample of the staggering amount of rain that fell across San Diego County from late Monday to early Wednesday. Most of the rain came on Tuesday. Forecasters say San Diego isn’t likely to get more rain for the next 7-10 days.

Packing A Punch: Intensity Of S.D. Storm Takes Some By Surprise, Knocks Out Power

A surprisingly strong storm swept through San Diego County on Tuesday, causing scores of traffic accidents, leaving thousands without power, shuttering beaches and sinking at least one boat. While property damage and flooding were limited, the downpour flushed sewage-tainted pollution from Tijuana into South Bay beaches as far north as Coronado. The first major storm of season brought more than 2 inches of precipitation and winds up to 55 mph along parts of the coast and as much as 4 inches in the mountains with 70 mph gusts.

Shake-Up At California Agency After Report On Oroville Dam

California restructured a key water agency Wednesday in the wake of a scathing independent report on last year’s crisis at Oroville Dam. Changes included Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration naming a new director for the Department of Water Resources, the second change of top leadership at the agency since the February crisis at the nation’s tallest dam. Both spillways at the dam gave way that month, forcing evacuation orders for nearly 200,000 people downstream.

Bay Area Storms: Did All That Rain Make A Difference?

Drenching storms Monday and Tuesday smashed Northern California’s unusually dry December weather pattern, dumping nearly half a foot of rain on the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Marin hills in 48 hours — with twice that much in Big Sur — and bringing many Bay Area cities their wettest day in at least a year.


After Oroville Disclosures, Embattled California Water Agency Names New Director

The California Department of Water Resources underwent a management shakeup Wednesday, less than a week after investigators released a scathing report on last February’s crisis at Oroville Dam and how the department handled it. Grant Davis resigned as DWR’s director barely seven months after taking over the embattled department, which has been heavily criticized following the near-catastrophe at the dam’s two flood-control spillways. Davis will go back to his old job as general manager of the Sonoma County Water Agency.

In His Final California Budget, Gov. Brown Boosts Education, Rainy Day Funds

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday proposed a $190.3 billion overall spending plan for the 2018-19 fiscal year that would boost funding for K-12 and higher education, as well as infrastructure and the state’s Rainy Day reserve fund. That’s up from the $183 billion budget Brown signed last summer. The plan includes a $132 billion general fund budget, which pays for the state’s day-to-day operations. It’s up from the $125 billion general fund budget Brown signed last year.  It calls for raising the voter-mandated Rainy Day fund by more than $5 billion, to a total of $13.5 billion.

Department of Water Resources Chief Ousted After Report Blames Oroville Dam Crisis On Lax Safety Culture

Grant Davis, director of the California Water Resources Department, was replaced Wednesday just days after an independent investigation of the Oroville dam spillway incident last year found that a flawed safety culture contributed to the disaster.

Winter Storms and Conservation Concerns

Despite this two-day rain storm that’s wrapping up, overall, we’ve had a very dry fall and winter.  Jeff Stephenson, a principal water resources specialist for the San Diego County Water Authority, spoke with Morning Extra about the impact the recent rain will have and how the water supply for 2018 is looking. Visit for information about low-water landscaping classes, rebate offers, a home water-use calculator and other resources.