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Heavy Rains Swamp Northern California And Causes Mudslides, Road Closures

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Petaluma, CA — A powerful winter storm barreled through Northern California yesterday, causing record flooding and mudslides that shut down major roadways.

Interstate 80, about 25 miles west of Reno, was closed due to a slide that dumped massive amounts of dirt and debris. The Department of Transportation says the major corridor linking northern California and points east was expected to remain closed for at least two days.

Downtown Napa was inundated with floodwater from the rising Napa River, which was five feet above flood level. One woman was injured when a mudslide destroyed her home in Santa Rosa. It took firefighters nearly an hour to free her from the debris.

In nearby Petaluma, the river began pouring over its banks and into homes late Friday, forcing some residents to flee. The weather service says an average of 4 inches of rain fell north of the San Francisco Bay area in the 24-hour period ending Friday evening.