Feb 15, 2019

California: driving rain floods streets as mudslide forces evacuations

Laguna Beach, CA
USA
by
The Guardian via AP
Southern Marin fire department members search a crushed house in the aftermath of a mudslide that destroyed three homes on a hillside in Sausalito, California, on Thursday. Photo: Michael Short, AP
Southern Marin fire department members search a crushed house in the aftermath of a mudslide that destroyed three homes on a hillside in Sausalito, California, on Thursday. Photo: Michael Short, AP

Waves of heavy rain pounded California on Thursday, flooding streets, triggering a mudslide that destroyed homes and forcing residents to flee communities scorched by wildfires last year.

The powerful system swept in from the Pacific Ocean and unleashed damaging rain, snow and wind across the US west into Wyoming and Colorado after walloping northern California and southern Oregon a day earlier.

The National Weather Service reported staggering rainfall amounts across California, including more than 9.4in (24cm) over 48 hours at one location in the San Bernardino Mountains east of Los Angeles.

The deluge triggered a mudslide in Sausalito, north of San Francisco, that barreled over cars, uprooted trees and sent a home sliding down a hill and smashing into another house.

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The risk of flooding led officials to order people out of areas burned bare by a summer wildfire in the Santa Ana Mountains, with flash flood warnings blanketing a huge swath east and south of Los Angeles.

They also told parts of Laguna Beach to evacuate, while the desert resort city of Palm Springs urged residents to stay where they were because of flooded streets. Flood advisories extended east to Arizona.

Scorched film sets: a Hollywood park after wildfires

Weather was so severe that the Hollywood Walk of Fame had to postpone the dedication of a sidewalk star honoring the band Aerosmith. The Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain theme parks closed.