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Sirens and rescues as new storm hits Northern California


    A woman carries an umbrella as she crosses a street with children in San Francisco, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017. Flash flood watches are in place for parts of Northern California down through the Central Coast as heavy rains swamp roads and threaten to overtop rivers and creeks.

SAN FRANCISCO >> Emergency crews in the San Francisco Bay Area rescued stranded residents from flooded homes and cars Tuesday as the latest storm in this wet California winter set off street flooding and rockslides.

In Marin County north of San Francisco, authorities sounded the community emergency siren at 8 a.m. when heavy rain and high tide started to send roaring Corte Madera Creek over its banks at the town of Kentfield.

Flooding affected about 1,000 residents, Marin County Fire Battalion Chief Bret McTigue said. Emergency crews in boats and on foot carried out seven rescues for people trapped in their homes or cars as the water rose. About 40 homes had substantial amounts of water in them, McTigue said.

“This storm packed the biggest punch … of all the storms we had this year,” McTigue said.

South of San Francisco, one of several rockslides and mudslides overturned a pickup truck on a state route near Santa Cruz.

The National Weather Service said more than an inch of rain could fall in the region this week.

In the state capital, the Sacramento River was expected to swell to just a few feet below flood stage.

The storm also whipped up strong winds, with gusts topping 50 mph throughout the San Joaquin Valley and into Southern California.

The rain total in downtown Los Angeles since October — the start of the wet season — hit about 15½ inches and already exceeds the normal amount for an entire year, the weather service said.

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