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More heavy rain expected to hit drenched California

A crew from Vaccaro Tree Service removes a fallen tree along Hickory Road in Fairfax, Calif., Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Marin Independent Journal, Robert Tong)

Published: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 2:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 2:03 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO — Northern California residents recovering Monday from a series of wet, windy storms likely won't get much of a break as another system is expected to drench the area.

Up to five more inches of rain could fall in the region beginning Tuesday, the National Weather Service said.

The rain could be especially heavy at times in areas north of Redding and across the Sierra Nevada, meteorologist Dan Keeton said.

Still, it should be nothing like the downpours that left between 15 to 20 inches of rain in some areas over the five-day period that ended Sunday. Forecasters said the latest storm left the area faster than expected.

"It's going to be significant, but less impactful," Keeton said of the coming rain. "There will be some isolated impact in certain areas, but nothing as widespread compared to what we saw late last week."

Pacific Gas & Electric crews continued to work on restoring power to about 12,000 users, a figure that was down from 57,000 on Sunday in areas stretching from Santa Cruz to Eureka.

Three powerful storms drenched the region within a week. Sunday's storm dropped as much as an inch of rain an hour in some areas while toppling trees and knocking out electrical service to tens of thousands of people, officials said.

"I think everybody got nervous last week," Keeton said. "These storms came with plenty of warnings, but it rained so hard at times that many were still left surprised by what Mother Nature can do."

Rivers across Northern California swelled from the deluge but did not flood as much as expected. Flood warnings had been issued for the Napa and Russian rivers north of San Francisco, and for the Truckee River near Lake Tahoe.

In Napa, officials had handed out more than 8,000 sandbags and about 150 tons of sand, but the city appeared to avoid any major damage.

In Truckee, 30 miles west of Reno, city officials focused on snow removal instead of flood control after the town received 4 to 5 inches of snow early Sunday, said Assistant City Manager Alex Terrazas.

"We continue to keep an eye on the river, but things are certainly better than they could have been," he said. "We'll transition back to flood management if we need to."

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Associated Press writers Terry Collins in San Francisco and Martin Griffith in Reno, Nev., contributed to this report.

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