SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5 / AP / BCN) — A series of winter storms are bearing down on the Bay Area and California, promising a wet weekend and possible flooding into next week.

CBS 5 WeatherCenter: Check Current Conditions, Forecast For Your City

Bay Area residents are preparing for the worst with more than five inches of rain expected to fall by Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

“This is a certainly a situation that warrants being watched,” National Weather Service Forecaster Bob Benjamin said.

Benjamin said officials are on the lookout for small streams overflowing and potential mudslides.

“A lot of agencies are staffing up,” he said.

Officials are handing out sand bags in Oakland, Concord, San Anselmo, San Carlos, and San Mateo County in preparation of the rain.

In addition, Oakland residents can volunteer at the “Maintain-a-Drain” project and keep a storm drain clear of debris in their neighborhoods. In exchange, officials at Oakland Public Works Agency will give volunteers a free set of rain gear, which includes a rake and debris bags.

Residents should be extra mindful of roadways and expect weather-related delays during their daily commute on any form of transit during the next week, according to officials.

Along with commute delays, the weather has also slowed down flights into and out of San Francisco International Airport.

Airport officials at 7 a.m. Friday began slowing traffic to 27 arrivals and 27 departures per hour, Duty Manager Lily Wang said.

“It’s not just weather problems here, across the country it’s not good,” Wang said.

On a clear day, the airport can see 60 arrivals and 60 departures per hour, she said.

Cal Fire is warning drivers to watch out for rainy, foggy or icy roads during the winter months. The agency responded to more than 6,000 vehicle accidents in November 2009 through January 2010.

“The winter season represents a very dangerous time of year to be behind the wheel of a vehicle,” Cal Fire Battalion Chief Dave Teter said in a statement.

Meteorologist Jim Dudley said the Central Valley will get 1 to 3 inches of rain by Monday with up to 15 inches of rain in the Sierra, which could prompt flooding in streams and rivers.

Southern California will see 2 to 4 inches along the coasts and valleys with double that in the mountains.

Another, bigger storm system is expected Tuesday and Wednesday.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.)


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