Mon, Feb 20, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Southern California rain eases, north faces more storms

WET MESS:Northern California and the San Francisco Bay area faced a return of heavy rain and winds, as the south began to calculate the damage

AP, Los Angeles

Flood waters cross over Interstate 5 at Williams, California, backing up traffic in north and southbound lanes for hours on Saturday.

Photo: AP

A huge Pacific storm that lingered over southern California and unloaded, ravaging roads, opening sinkholes and leading to the deaths of at least three people, eased off on Saturday, but was only a temporary reprieve as new storms took aim farther north.

The US National Weather Service predicted drying weather yesterday, followed by the return of wet weather in the region.

While flash-flood watches for southern California were canceled, northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area faced a weekend return of heavy rain and winds that lashed them earlier in the week.

Authorities said the San Joaquin River is reaching flood stage, and they are warning residents in Manteca to be ready to evacuate if it reaches dangerous levels.

The approaching rain could cause more problems in the far north, where damage to spillways of the Lake Oroville dam forced the evacuation of 188,000 people on Feb. 12.

The California Department of Water Resources on Saturday night said that the level of Lake Oroville continues to fall despite the weather, and the amount of water flowing down the spillway continues to decrease.

Meanwhile, authorities up and down the state were dealing with the fallout, including overflowing creeks, mudslide threats in foothill areas denuded by earlier fires, road collapses and hundreds of toppled trees in neighborhoods.

Northwest of Sacramento, nearly 200 people were evacuated on Saturday as overflowing creeks turned the town of Maxwell into a brown pond, with some homes getting 61cm of water.

The area received about 7.6cm of rain as of Saturday morning.

Southern California appeared to dodge any major disasters, but in the desert town of Victorville, several cars were washed down a flooded street, and one man was found dead in a submerged vehicle after others were rescued, San Bernardino County fire spokesman Eric Sherwin said.

In the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles, a man was electrocuted when a tree felled by heavy rain downed power lines that hit his car.

On Saturday, searchers found the body of a man in his 20s who was swept down a rain-swollen gully in Thousand Oaks a day earlier, while three other people were rescued.

In the Studio City area of Los Angeles, a sinkhole swallowed two cars, the second on live TV as viewers watched it teeter on the edge before taking the plunge.

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