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Rain is death knell for downtown pines
Tree-removal crews chop up the massive pine tree that leaned precariously to its side when the ground around its root system was loosened by the combined saturation effects of last weeks powerful storm compounded by Mondays rains and sent it nearly crashing completely to the ground. Two of the trio of pine trees in the alley behind the dental office near the Post Office in downtown Manteca had to be removed. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

Monday’s nearly inch precipitation on top of last week’s two inches of rain from the devastating storm was the death knell for the old towering tree along the alley near the Post Office in downtown Manteca.

The cemented pavement gave way as the saturated ground beneath became too soft to hold up the pine tree sending it precariously tilting toward the direction of Sycamore Avenue. The fact it did not tilt toward the other direction, which would have sent it leaning over the alley, saved the city from being the responsible party in having it removed. The task went to the owner of the property which is the site of a dental office and a San Joaquin County health services.

But while the tree removal was undertaken by the private property owner, repairing the damaged cement area around the tree will be the responsibility of the city since the alley is a public-access area, said Manteca Street Division Coordinator Lucky Shaw said.

Another smaller tree next to the massive evergreen that was removed on Monday morning also had to be take out. Removal of the humongous tree had loosed up the ground around the smaller tree which made it imperative to remove it as well for safety, added Shaw.

The small tree was flanked by two massive pines. The other large tree that’s closest to the alley way that leads to the mail drive-thru on the south side of the Post Office building remains.

The alley area where the trees were removed will be closed to vehicular traffic until the city has fixed the pavement, Shaw said. 


More rain expected today, another front Wednesday

The National Weather Service indicated there is an 80 percent chance of rain  today from the system that dumped more rain on already waterlogged parts of Northern California, causing minor road flooding, scattered power outages and airport delays.

The rain was coming down hard in the San Francisco Bay Area on Monday morning, making for a treacherous commute. A landslide closed both directions of a highway in Fremont.

At San Francisco International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration reported arrival delays of almost two hours.

The storm was expected to drop between an inch and 2 inches of rain throughout the morning in the Bay Area and Sacramento regions before heading to Southern California late Monday and overnight, National Weather Service forecaster Bob Benjamin said.

But it and another weather system later in the week won’t be nearly as powerful as the storm that dumped as much as 8 inches of rain in parts of Northern California last week and up to 6 feet of snow in the high elevations of the Sierra Nevada. That storm caused widespread flooding and power outages, including in downtown San Francisco.

While the storms help, much more rain is needed to pull the state out of its severe drought, forecasters say.

The Sierra Nis expected to receive a few inches of snow by this morning at elevations above about 5,000 feet, a height that includes most ski resorts, said Eric Kurth, a meteorologist in the weather service’s Sacramento office.

The second weather front is expected to dump yet more rain Wednesday in the Bay Area, Benjamin said.