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The snow and rain that delighted children and wreaked traffic havoc on the North Coast is expected to taper off early this morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Areas as low as 100 feet were “dusted with snow” on Friday, meteorologist Brian Garcia said. Some towns -- such as Orleans -- reported as much as 5.5 inches of snow by the afternoon.

”Above 1,000 feet is probably our hardest hit area right now,” he said.

Another 6 to 8 inches of snow was expected to fall on inland areas overnight, according to Garcia.

The winter weather delighted many, but also led to car accidents and the closure of several sections of U.S. Highway 101 on Friday, according to Caltrans. Areas three miles north of the State Route 20 junction and seven miles north of Laytonville to six miles south of Cummings were shut-down, while northbound lanes were closed 3.5 miles north of Willits due to snow and car accidents. Chains were required on State Route 299 from 16 miles east of Blue Lake to 4.5 miles west of the junction with State Route 96.

Three cars traveling across the bridge in Rio Dell on U.S. Highway 101 spun out about 8 a.m. Friday, the California Highway Patrol said.

No one was injured, and no roads were closed as a result, Sgt. Martin Abshire said.

”As always, we're very thankful that people were wearing their seat belts,” Abshire said. “As a result, people walked away from this without injury.”

The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office is reminding snow seekers not to trespass on private property.

While the precipitation is expected to end, the cold weather will continue over the weekend with morning low temperatures in the mid-20s and highs in the mid- to high-40s in areas near Humboldt Bay. Garcia said inland areas are expected to be even colder, with temperatures dropping to the mid-teens in Willow Creek and as low as 6 degrees in Weaverville.

Friday marked the third consecutive day of record low temperatures for the date, but the readings are expected to rise by the beginning of the week.

”Tuesday into Wednesday will be the first above-freezing night,” Garcia said.

Cold temperatures in Santa Clara County caused four deaths due to hypothermia, but none have been reported in Humboldt County, according to the Humboldt County Coroner's Office.

Emergency shelters were expected to open Friday night due to low temperatures.

Will Houston can be reached at (707) 441-0504 or at whouston@times-standard.com. Follow him on Twitter @Will_S_Houston