Pacific storm triggers mudslides, floods in Southern California

By REUTERS
December 12, 2014 22:36
1 minute read.

LOS ANGELES - A Pacific storm pounded Southern California with heavy rain and high winds on Friday, triggering flash floods and mudslides that prompted the evacuation of hundreds of homes, damaged dozens of others and disrupted passenger rail service along the coast.

One person was found dead on Friday in a rain-swollen flood-control channel in the Orange County town of Garden Grove, which could mark the third storm-related fatality on the West Coast since Thursday.

Separately, rescue teams saved two people after they were swept away in the fast-moving Los Angeles River near a homeless encampment, the Los Angeles Fire Department said in Twitter messages.

The Ventura County Fire Department said its personnel responded to 37 calls for assistance due to flooding and a second-story balcony collapsed in the Los Angeles suburb of Long Beach.

High winds tore down power lines throughout the region, leaving 78,000 customers without electricity after the storm moved in before dawn, utility officials reported.

The National Weather Service warned that thunderstorms and even tornadoes were possible as the storm front advanced, and that a water spout was sighted over the ocean near Los Angeles International Airport on Friday morning.

The same storm system pummeled the Pacific Northwest and the northern half of California on Thursday with torrential downpours and gale-force gusts that caused widespread power outages and disrupted commercial flights in San Francisco.

One of the areas hardest hit on Friday was the Ventura County community of Camarillo Springs, north of Los Angeles, where boulder-strewn rivers of mud swept down hillsides that a wildfire had stripped of vegetation last year.


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