Northern California drenched by ‘Pineapple Express’ storm

Oakland International Airport
The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Northern California was drenched by a powerful “Pineapple Express” storm that flooded roadways, forced flight cancellations and caused a rare baseball rainout.

No major problems were reported after the heaviest rain from the “atmospheric river” of subtropical moisture moved through from Hawaii late Friday. But flood warnings and watches remained in effect Saturday for the Sierra Nevada, the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco and other areas.

Forecasters said runoff from melting snow could add to the chance of rapidly rising streams and rivers.

Police rescued a man who became trapped in a rain-swollen drainage channel near Sacramento, where many roads were flooded. The state capital saw more than 1.17 inches (nearly 3 centimeters) of rain on Friday. Downtown San Francisco saw nearly 2 inches (5 centimeters), making for the fourth-wettest April day since records began

Yosemite National Park closed some campgrounds and lodging because of flooding concerns, with the Merced River there expected to peak several feet above flood stage on Saturday.

San Francisco International Airport reported about 150 canceled flights because of the weather and others were delayed.

The opener of the San Francisco Giants-Los Angeles Dodgers weekend series was rained out, the first at the Giants ballpark in 12 years. Saturday’s game was also pushed back by two hours to 3:05 p.m. PDT.

Bodega Bay in Sonoma County received nearly 6 inches (15.2 centimeters) of rain — more than the entire rainfall total for March, according to the weather service. County officials said there were no major mudslides in areas stripped bare by last fall’s wildfires.

To the north, state officials warned this week that they may have to use the partially rebuilt spillway at Oroville Dam for the first time since repairs began on the badly damaged structure last summer.

The water level in Lake Oroville hit 796 feet (243 meters) on Saturday. If it reaches about 830 feet (253 meters), water managers said they may open the gates to the spillway. Officials said they are confident it can safely function.

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