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California Storm to Ease Up Today After a Healthy Dose of Rain

January 6, 1992

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A savage storm blamed for at least four deaths eased up in some areas today after bringing a healthy dose of rain to drought-plagued California.

Heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada caused the crash of a private plane that left three people dead and another one missing, authorities said.

Two survivors hiked through rugged terrain from the crash site south of Mammoth Lakes to report that the plane had gone down Saturday evening, Mono County sheriff’s deputies said.

Identities of the victims and the survivors were not immediately released.

Rescue crews were attempting to locate the wreckage and the missing person, said Deputy Frank Ledgard. The National Weather Service reported snowfall of up to 15 inches in the Sierra.

Heavy rain and 4-foot waves hampered U.S. Coast Guard efforts to locate two brothers reported missing Saturday from a boat near Anacapa Island, off the coastline northwest of Los Angeles.

The body of Brian Bolton, 22, of Provo, Utah, was found Sunday, but rescuers were unable to locate his 27-year-old brother, Monty.

Off San Diego’s coast, a support boat for the French America’s Cup yachting team rescued a disabled 38-foot powerboat Sunday with three adults and two children aboard.

By late Sunday, 1.15 inches of rain had fallen at the Los Angeles Civic Center. Nearly 2 inches fell in Newhall, north of Los Angeles.

The coastal town of Honeydew, north of San Francisco, received 2 inches of rain and San Francisco itself received 1.19 inches.

The rain tapered off overnight in downtown Los Angeles and the San Francisco area, but continued in other parts of the state. It was expected to wind down this afternoon, leaving partly cloudy skies and scattered showers in its wake, the National Weather Service said.

Combined with three major winter storms last week, the latest downpour pushed the Los Angeles region’s rainfall totals to near normal for the first time in four years. The seasonal total at the city’s civic center was 5.17 inches, above the Jan. 5 norm of 4.91 inches.

But weather experts said it would take several years of normal or higher- than-normal rainfall to make up for five years of drought.

″That could take another four years,″ said Stephen Ahn, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Forecasters said the Sierra Nevada snowpack was still below normal.

The storm caused several rockslides, uprooted trees in the region and caused a flurry of accidents on rain-slickened Southern California roadways. There was some flooding in the San Joaquin Valley.

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