Snow, rain snarls California's roads, disconnects power

Sunday, November 25th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) _ A blast of winter weather chilled Californians on Saturday, toppling trees and knocking out power to 500,000 customers.

``We've got a lot of tree limbs down and flooding. It's a mess out there,'' said Al Franklin, spokesman for the California Highway Patrol.

Half a million Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers lost power Saturday, mostly in the northern part of the state. By the evening, crews had restored electricity but lights remained out at about 119,000 homes, said company spokesman Jonathan Franks.

In the desert and mountains, flying dust and snow lowered visibility and made driving dangerous. But weather officials said the worst is over.

Saturday's storm hurled 60 mph winds at San Francisco International Airport and more than 1 inch of rain fell in parts of Northern California. Up to 2 1/2 inches of rain fell in some parts of the Sierra Nevada.