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Forecasters Eye New Front; Some Flood Victims May Never Go Home

March 20, 1995

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ More than an inch of rain fell across parts of Northern California again today although there was little threat of more serious flooding.

``It’s going to be windy; it’s not going to be real nice. This is more typical of a system we’d normally get in January,″ said forecaster Bob Benjamin with the National Weather Service.

Today’s storm was centered off the coast of Washington and two more were stacked up behind it over the Pacific, due in Tuesday and Wednesday.

Scattered showers fell across the region this morning, dropping 1.2 inches at Ukiah as of 7 a.m., and 0.98 of an inch at Mount Shasta City. In Oregon, Brookings got 0.83 of an inch.

The storm from the Bering Sea is too cold to cause serious flooding, said Mark Strobin of the weather service.

Snow in the Sierra Nevada was likely at the lowest elevations of the season, with 6 feet of snow and blizzard conditions a possibility at higher elevations, Strobin said.

``We’ll be skiing on the Fourth of July,″ Strobin joked.

Residents of some areas flooded during the storms earlier this month were told they may never go home again.

Sonoma County officials were looking at maps of Guerneville and Monte Rio on the Russian River, parts of which have flooded repeatedly in the past 13 years, including twice in the last two months.

The county said it may be cheaper in the long run to buy the damaged homes and businesses than to keep restoring them.

``We have lots of properties that have sustained two, three, seven, eight, 10 in that time frame,″ said Diana Herrera of the National Flood Insurance Program.

At least $45 million will be available from the U.S. government to reduce the threat of property damage in state flood zones such as the lower Russian River valley.

Hundreds of farm workers remained in shelters on Sunday in the Pajaro Valley near the nation’s ``salad bowl.″

Sewage pipes have burst open and settling ponds remain underwater, contaminating local rivers and Monterey Bay. Many Pajaro residents have been told not to flush toilets until further notice.

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