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Storm just the prelude for a wet weekend

Modified: Wednesday, Nov 28th, 2012

A man is caught is a powerful downpour at 1 p.m. Tuesday in downtown Watsonville. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian).

WATSONVILLE — The first in a series of storms hit the county Wednesday, but that’s just the beginning of what will be a rainy few days.

Roads were slick during the Wednesday morning commute, and there were reports of isolated power outages, with most of them in Boulder Creek.

A second, more powerful system is expected to arrive on Friday, with rain and wind continuing through the weekend.

"It’s a pretty strong cold front that's come across the Pacific," said Diana Henderson, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Monterey. "It's brought with it some pretty strong winds."

The system that arrived this morning is expected to taper off into showers by tonight, with another system coming in Friday.

"It looks like we're going to be in and out of this through the weekend," Henderson said. "We haven't seen anything yet. It's just beginning."

Regarding the threat of mudslides or flooding, she said that "it's been pretty dry so far, until today, and the streams and rivers have been down pretty low, so we're not really anticipating much in the way of flooding problems, as far as main streams or tributaries.

"You'll probably see more flooding down at the corner if there's enough leaves in the drain,” Henderson added.

The hills are not yet soaked with water, "but by Sunday that might become a problem," she said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, PG&E reported that 2,500 residents had lost power in Santa Cruz County.

“We have 1,352 customers out in Boulder Creek, 58 in Watsonville and 191 in Santa Cruz,” said PG&E Spokeswoman Monica Tell.

Elsewhere in the state, officials are warning of potential mudslides in the Sacramento Valley, where areas that were burned in recent wildfires are particularly vulnerable.

PG&E customers can call the company’s service line, 800-743-5002, to report an outage, a hazardous condition or to get the latest information on outages. Power outage information is also available at the PG&E site www.pge.com/outages.

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