NEWCASTLE, CA - Record-breaking valley rain was great fun for some outdoor enthusiasts, but bad news for many others, including those who farm tomatos, and many kinds of fruit.
At Twin Peaks Orchards in Newcastle, a day of sometimes heavy rain has already damaged a crop of peaches, plums and nectarines. "It's gonna cause brown rot and on the inside it will be black," said farmer Sheila Enriques, who said she won't know the extent of the damage until warm weather comes back on Sunday or Monday.
The unexpected rain made oil-soaked roads especially dangerous. The driver of a compact Chevrolet lost control in the westbound lanes of Interstate 80 near Gold Run Tuesday afternoon and slammed into an embankment beside the freeway.
"There's been dry weather here lately, so the oil kind of builds up on the freeway and the first rain...cars started losing control from driving too fast," said Officer Sky Bell with the California Highway Patrol. Bell said there were several accidents along that stretch of I-80 in the first couple of hours after the rain started Tuesday afternoon.
For kayakers along the South Fork of the Yuba river, the snow melt from falling rain made for a perfect day of white water.
"It's amazing out here. It's super fun, super nice, it's great," said Macy Burnham of Reno, as he dared a series of class 5 rapids near Cisco Grove.
In Soda Springs, the swell of water from melting snow poured across an old dam and burst through cracks and underneath the side of the dam. "It's got a few cracks in it. It's coming through those cracks and it's really come up the last few days," said Steve Deering, of nearby Serene Lakes, who's been keeping a close watch on the dam as the water has gone up in the last few days.
Back at Twin Peaks Orchard, Enriques was circumspect about the damage. "We keep positive and we keep planting more trees," she said. "So I think we're keeping ahead of the game."
By Dave Marquis, email@example.com