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Early fall storm hammers California with snow and rain

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Peter Nelson shovels snow from the driveway of a home he is helping remodel near Soda Springs, Calif., Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011. An early October storm swept through Northern California bringing rain to the lower levels and up to six inches of snow to the Sierra Nevada.

Jae C. Hong / AP

A man walks with an umbrella in downtown Los Angeles, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011. An unusually early winter storm dumped nearly an inch of rain on parts of California's agricultural heartland in less than five hours, flooding streets, uprooting trees and soaking a bumper crop of raisins drying in vineyards.

Gregory Bull / AP

A kite surfer loses his board as he is picked up off the water by a gust in heavy winds Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif. An early fall storm is dumping rain across Southern California, snarling traffic and scouring mountain and desert areas with strong gusty winds.

AP reports:

FRESNO, Calif. — A storm dumped more than an inch of rain on parts of California's agricultural heartland in less than five hours, flooding streets, uprooting trees and soaking a bumper crop of raisins drying in vineyards.

The storm hit Tuesday in Northern California, then swept through the central portions before bringing rainfall to Southern California by midmorning on Wednesday.

A live web cam at China Peak in the central Sierra Nevada showed snow accumulation on the slopes. Squaw Valley USA reported eight inches of new snow overnight, with up to nine more predicted by Thursday. The snow forced the closing of the 9,300-foot Tioga Pass through Yosemite National Park.

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