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Bay Area, Northern California Brace For Major Storms

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A pedestrian holds his umbrella while waiting in the rain. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) — Northern California residents are bracing for gusty winds, lots of rain and snow at higher elevations, as a series of storms gets set to touch down.

The National Weather Service said rain and snow should begin falling on Wednesday and continue through Sunday. Wind gusts could reach as high as 70 mph in coastal areas.

A flood watch has been issued for the Sacramento Valley. There is also the potential for urban and small stream flooding along the North Coast, where meteorologists say some area could see as much as 12 inches of rain over the five-day period.

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Still, some officials said they are not too worried at this point in the season.

Jeanine Jones with the state Department of Water Resources told the Sacramento Bee that there is room in reservoirs for additional water. The storms, she said, would replace soil moisture.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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