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Rain and snow in the Valley let up, but the freezing temperatures will linger

Somewhat rare sight: snow hits westside coastal range from Monday night storm

A somewhat rare sight greeted those on the westside of the valley, as snow crested the coastal range from Monday night storm. The storm left Belmont Avenue at Douglas closed to through traffic due to flooding as well.
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A somewhat rare sight greeted those on the westside of the valley, as snow crested the coastal range from Monday night storm. The storm left Belmont Avenue at Douglas closed to through traffic due to flooding as well.

The icy storm that blew through the Valley this week dumped snow, ice, rain and tornadoes that blocked several roads, forced some schools to close and left thousands of residents in the dark for hours.

Colin McKellar, meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said early reports indicate cities in Fresno, Madera and Kings County each received an inch or more of rain Monday.

Fresno reported some temporary flooding along Herndon Avenue near First Street at around 11 a.m. Tuesday, but a clogged drain was cleared and the street returned back to normal shortly after.

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Snow covered the higher elevations of the coastal range on the westside of the valley, over a section of flooded Belmont Avenue West of Mendota, Tuesday morning, Feb. 5, 2019. JOHN WALKER jwalker@fresnobee.com

Additionally, three tornado warnings were issued by the National Weather Service on Monday in Fresno County, but none materialized, McKellar said.

The Sierra Nevada foothills took the brunt of the storm with heavy snow and falling trees forcing the closure of all roads within Yosemite National Park.

Areas near and within Yosemite, including Fish Camp and the Tuolumne Meadows, received around 3 feet of snow.

Snow levels in the area were at about 2,000 feet, according to the National Weather Service.

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Clouds form near the foothills of eastern Fresno County on Monday afternoon, Feb. 4, 2019. JOHN WALKER jwalker@fresnobee.com

Caltrans began enforcing the usage of snow chains across all major highways in the foothills, which includes Highways 41, 49 and 140.

Flooding in the Valley closed portions of several roads in rural Madera County on Tuesday.

PG&E on Monday night and Tuesday morning with outages affecting hundreds of thousands of people in Fresno County. Late Tuesday, PG&E confirmed nearly 40,000 customers remained in the dark and said some rural parts of the county between Sonora and Dunlap could be without power until Friday or Saturday.

The company said “ongoing snowfall and limited access” in those areas were hampering their efforts.

The utility company also confirmed 99 power outages affecting 18,071 customers, including 2,300 in Mariposa and 1,000 in eastern Madera County.

The storm was expected to last until Tuesday evening, according to the National Weather Service, with spurts of rainfall, hail and snowfall expected.

But even with the end of the storm, forecasts show the Valley will remain cold the next few days.

The cities of Los Banos, Coalinga, Mendota, Fresno, Hanford, Lemoore, Avenal, Corcoran, Bakersfield, and Visalia were all issued freeze warnings with temperatures are expected between 27 to 32 degrees from midnight until 9 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday.

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