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Heavy rains from leftover typhoon hit California's Central Coast

by Bill Armstrong | October 13, 2009
The aftermath of last week's Japanese typhoon gained strength as it traveled eastward over the Pacific Ocean and slammed into California's Central Coast Tuesday, Oct. 13.

A storm of this magnitude typically arrives mid-winter when there are no local crops being harvested. Heavy winds and rain started early Oct. 13 and continued all day.

Rain totals include Watsonville with 4.54 inches, Monterey with 2.91 inches and Salinas with 1.49 inches. The watershed areas in southern Monterey County received an incredible 16.81 inches. Wind gusts were as high as 50 mph. There were 30,000 power outages on the Monterey Peninsula and 10,000 in Santa Cruz County. Portions of the Santa Cruz Mountains had mandatory evacuations. The storm eased in the evening hours of Oct. 13 and exited the area overnight. A few lingering showers may continue into early Wednesday, Oct. 14.

This storm effectively ended the local strawberry season. Berry buyers will be forced to Oxnard, where production is not yet ready to meet overall demand. Produce buyers should expect widespread harvest delays Wednesday, Oct. 14, and Thursday, Oct. 15, and significantly higher prices in the near term. Muddy cartons and product will arrive at destination the week of Oct. 19.

(For additional information, look for Bill Armstrong's Fresh Directions column Thursday morning, Oct. 15, on the Home Page of