SANTA CRUZ (KPIX 5) — Light rain on Saturday in the San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay areas became heavier late Saturday night, bringing gusty winds with it, according to the National Weather Service.
Rain in the coastal mountain ranges was expected to total 6 to 8 inches, with as much as 12 inches or more possible in the Santa Cruz Mountains, according to weather officials. Rivers and reservoirs were
By Saturday evening in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Pineapple Express was going full steam ahead with heavy sustained rain starting at about 7 p.m. Residents were keeping a close watch on the rain-soaked reservoirs and rivers.
The Uvas Reservoir was approaching 103 percent and had crested over the spillway, dumping nearly three hundred cubic feet of water per minute into the already swollen Uvas Creek. Flooding downstream was likely.
The San Lorenzo River, which runs through the Paradise Park neighborhood of Santa Cruz, had risen sharply since nightfall. The current was cold, dark, swift, and rising.
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Homeowner Sharon Simas was keeping a close eye.
“It’s just widened out, and come up so quickly,” said Simas. “I looked at it about an hour ago and it’s very, very scary. It’s probably worse than I had anticipated to see it.”
Highway 17 went from bad to worse – from foggy skies during the day, to white knuckle driving at night.
The CHP posted officers with flashing lights at some of the trickier passes, to remind everyone to slow down. It seemed to be working because south of the summit, there were almost no crashes all day.
But Simas says the Pineapple Express has just gotten going, and the worst is yet to come.
“Praying that rain will stop and won’t get into too many homes around here,” she said.