Storm sweeps through California

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Published: Friday 12th December 2014 by The News Editor

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A dangerous storm system blamed for two deaths in Oregon and thousands of power outages in Washington state has swept south through California, causing mudslides and evacuations.

The storm flooded major roads in the Bay Area of northern California, before avalanches of mud and debris blocked part of the Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County in the south of the state, the National Weather Service said.

Spokesman Stuart Seto said heavy rain was falling in Ventura County as well as western Los Angeles County, where possible flash flooding remained a concern.

The weight of the storm is expected to move into the Los Angeles area later, Mr Seto added.

Precautionary evacuations brought on by fear of mudslides began late yesterday in the Los Angeles suburb of Glendora, where the foothills were stripped bare by a major wildfire this year.

The storm’s powerful winds caused power outages around Santa Barbara and other parts of the coast, and forecasters predicted the winds would continue to pick up speed.

Yesterday, the centre of the storm and its torrential rains hit the San Francisco Bay Area and the surrounding region, pushing waterways towards flood stage, toppling trees and cutting power to thousands.

In Oregon, the winds proved deadly. A falling tree killed a homeless man who was sleeping on a trail, and a teenage boy died after a large tree fell on the vehicle in which he was riding, causing it to swerve and hit another tree.

Falling trees also injured a man in south-west Washington and a pupil at a primary school in Santa Cruz, California.

The system’s powerful winds temporarily knocked out power to more than 150,000 customers in western Washington state.

Published: Friday 12th December 2014 by The News Editor

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