SANTA CRUZ -- Pounding rain and high winds from a strong winter storm caused the usual tree-and-wire tangles across the county Sunday, bringing power outages and road blockages, but county road officials said their biggest headache is the washout of Vine Hill Road.
County road crews on Sunday afternoon closed Vine Hill Road in both directions at Mile Marker Two, near Camino Vista at the upper end of the road, said Bob Leporini, the county's assistant road superintendent.
"Vine Hill is going to be long-term," Leporini said. "There was just too much water; it washed out the road. You can still get out at the top or the bottom, but it's going to be inconvenient for commuters. We'll be doing assessments starting Monday."
He said it was not yet clear how long it would take to repair the road.
Other road closures came from downed trees across power lines, and some were temporarily closed pending repair by Pacific Gas & Electric. Roads that remained blocked Sunday afternoon were Hutchinson Road in Boulder Creek, Two Bar Road, Lompico Road, Trout Gulch Road, Valencia Road, Laurel Glen Road, Murphy Crossing, Smith Grade and East Zayante Road.
The National Weather Service reported that 1.08 inches of rain fell in Santa Cruz from 4 p.m. Saturday to 4 p.m. Sunday. In Watsonville, 1.18 inches was recorded; in Ben Lomond, 1.39 inches.
PG&E reported that more than 4,700 customers were without power in the county Sunday morning,
By 5 p.m., the number was down to 800 customers.
Spokesman Joe Molica said power was expected to be restored by Sunday evening and that extra crews had been called from the Central Valley and other areas to help out.
"We've been concerned about the saturation level in the Santa Cruz Mountains," Molica said. "It was a short, extremely intense storm. But the worst of it has been in what we call the North Valley, in the Chico area."
He cautioned people to stay away from any downed power lines and to call 911. Sunday morning, the California Highway Patrol reported two rock slides on Highway 17, near Sugar Loaf Road and Glenwood Cutoff. Those were cleared by Sunday afternoon.
Short-term flooding was reported in other areas, including on Highway 9 near Glen Arbor Road.
CHP Sgt. Kevin Enox said the agency was getting several storm-related calls Sunday morning, but that no serious accidents had been reported.
"We're doing our best with all these calls for service," he said. "At one point, the wind got so bad that PG&E crews were called off due to the danger, so that slowed things down. But that's just weather."
At the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor, workers helped bail out some boats, but there was no storm damage, Deputy Harbormaster Sean Rothwell said.
He cautioned people to be careful going in and out of the harbor as the entrance was beginning to get shoaled and that harbor officials have not had the chance to do a radar "sounding" to evaluate it.
Forecasters say Monday should be partly cloudy and that more rain is possible early Wednesday.
Follow Sentinel reporter Cathy Kelly on Twitter at Twitter.com/cathykelly9