Union Democrat staff

Heavy rain will continue to fall over much of Northern California through Sunday, bringing the chance of flooding in low-lying areas and along creeks and rivers.

The storm system, which began Tuesday and is predicted to last through Sunday, is expected to dump up to 10 inches of rain in the Mother Lode, the National Weather Service reported.

A flood warning remains in effect over the weekend.

The storm system could bring up to 2 feet of snow to the Central Sierra, but only to the highest elevations, as the system is generally warm, drawing much of its moisture from the tropical Central Pacific Ocean.

The snow level today is expected to be about 8,100 feet, dropping to 7,900 Saturday then rising to 9,000 Sunday.

Wednesday's heavy rainfall brought 0.91 inch in Sonora, 1.20 inches in Twain Harte, and 0.99 inch in Angels Camp.

Thursday saw 0.37 inch of rain in Sonora, 0.80 inch in Twain Harte and 0.47 inch in Angels Camp.

The season total is 4.61 inches in Sonora, 8.55 in Twain Harte and 5.97 in Angels Camp.

Sonora temperatures will peak in the mid-50s and drop to the mid-40s over the weekend.

Angels Camp highs are expected to reach the upper 50s to low 60s, with low temperatures ranging from 41 to 49 degrees over the weekend.

Tuolumne and Calaveras counties are also under a wind advisory, which in effect until 4 p.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

The advisory predicts sustained winds at 25 to 35 mph, with gusts at 55 mph.

Drivers are reminded to watch for fallen tree branches and other debris that may obstruct the roadway.

The wind also increases the likelihood of flooding, with leaves and other debris possibly blocking storm drains.

In case of flooding, free sand is available at eight locations in Calaveras County and four in Tuolumne County.

Sandbags are not provided in Tuolumne County but can be purchased at hardware stores. Free sand is available at the Columbia Airport parking lot, but residents must purchase and fill their own bags.

Local power outages are also possible, the NWS said.

In case of power outages, residents are advised to keep a supply of nonperishable food, flashlights and extra water, said the Tuolumne County Office of Emergency Services.

Waste Management announced this week that trash and recycling collection could be stalled if conditions are severe enough.

Customers are asked to leave their containers out until the end of their scheduled pickup day. If Waste Management or Burns Refuse are not able to collect the trash, they will collect twice the normal amount on the next scheduled service day. Burns Refuse,928-4251, will have a recorded message advising of changes. Moore Brothers, which serves the Groveland area, can be reached at 962-7224.

Customers can call the toll-free Waste Management hotline at 888-558-0616 for updates on collection by neighborhood.

SEI Solid Waste in Calaveras County did not have changes in collection as of Thursday morning.

Sonora and Tioga passes are closed for winter, according to the Caltrans road conditions website. Ebbetts Pass is now closed due to weather conditions, but the site does not specify if it will remain closed for the rest of the season.

Caltrans advised motorists to prepare for the storm season, have their vehicles winterized and to check road conditions before driving.

For road conditions, call 800-427-7623 or visit www.dot.ca.gov.