IMAGE: RAINY LOS ANGELES
Ric Francis  /  AP
Pedestrians cross a wet Hollywood Blvd. on Monday.
updated 2/28/2006 3:13:33 PM ET 2006-02-28T20:13:33

Southern and Northern California emerged soaked but mostly intact after storms dumped heavy rain overnight and into Tuesday morning.

Several parts of Southern California were under a flood watch early Tuesday as heavy rain began to swell streets and drenched hillsides burned by recent wildfires.

Authorities warned of the possibility of mudslides in parts of the Angeles National Forest northeast of Los Angeles, where as much as 10 inches of rain were expected to fall between Monday night and Tuesday.

The warnings extended to mountain areas of Orange, San Diego, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

Motorists were urged to turn around if they encounter barricades or signs warning of high water level.

"The water is swift and dangerous following heavy rainfall, and people need to stay away from streambanks until the water level subsides," said Jody Noiron, supervisor for Angeles National Forest.

The rain was expected to taper off Tuesday after some brief and scattered showers and maybe a thunderstorm or two, said Jamie Smith, a National Weather Service meteorologist in the service's Los Angeles-Oxnard office.

A second, less intense, storm front is expected to move into Southern California on Thursday, with a 30 percent to 40 percent chance of precipitation, she said. Clear weather should return for the weekend.

Until Monday, 10.7 inches of rain had fallen on the Los Angeles area since last July, 5.3 inches less than normal and 23 inches less than had fallen by this time last year.

Last year was the second-wettest year on record for Los Angeles, as 33.9 inches of rain fell on the city.

Bay Area hurricane-force winds
In Northern California, a storm bringing wind gusts of nearly 100 mph and heavy rains toppled trees, power lines and a 30-ton construction crane Monday night.

More than 100,000 Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers were without power overnight. The outages ranged from as far south as Kern County to as far north as Humboldt County.

Most of the power outages were reported in the Bay Area, where wind gusts peaked at 98 mph at Angel Island, according to the National Weather Service. Winds at San Francisco International Airport reached 71 mph, leading to delays of up to two hours.

Rain showers were forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday as well, but the worst of the storm was over, according to the National Weather Service.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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