Get ready, Southern California: Major storm is on the way

  • Get ready, Southern California: Major storm is on the way

Get ready, Southern California: Major storm is on the way

A powerful Pacific storm left two people dead in California as winds of more than 70mph downed power lines and brought trees down.

The storm caused at least two fatalities after a large tree brought down power lines in Sherman Oaks, California, electrocuting a 55-year-old man. Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes, more than 300 flights into LA have been disrupted, and a number of potentially deadly sinkholes have open up along the roads, swallowing cars.

Two occupants narrowly escaped injury when their auto fell into another 20-foot sinkhole off Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Studio City on Friday night, the LA Times reported.

Firefighters rescued a 48-year-old woman from the first vehicle, and the driver got out of the second before it fell.

Two people were killed in two separate vehicle accidents in San Diego during heavy rain and another was killed in Sherman Oaks after a power line fell. Strongest winds will occur this afternoon and evening.

The storm feeding on an atmospheric river of moisture stretching far out into the ocean was at its most fierce late Friday afternoon, dropping over 8 inches of rain in one area. Additionally, one driver drowned in his auto after flash flooding suddenly overtook the roadway. Not only will they dump a lot of rain on the area-rainfall rates are expected to reach a rate of 1 inch per hour-they'll move through the area slowly and unleash gusty winds.

The notice warns that heavy rains arriving Sunday could lead to significant rises in stream and river levels.

One of the people killed was found in a flooded vehicle in Victorville, San Bernardino County, firefighters said without providing details. Sinkholes, localized floods, and downed trees and power lines also were reported.

In San Diego, a high-wind warning will be in effect across the county through 2 a.m. Saturday, the weather service said.

In downtown Los Angeles, 2.05 inches of rain fell as of 5:40 a.m. Saturday.

But strong winds were still forecast for Southern California through Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service, which warned of unsafe maritime conditions through Sunday.

More than 100,000 people across Southern California lost power and evacuation orders were issued for areas affected by last summer's brush fires as police feared potential mudslides.

By evening, Ventura county and northern Los Angeles county had recorded 24-hour rain totals of up to 7.5 inches (19cm), with the San Marcos mountain pass in Santa Barbara county receiving almost 8.5 inches. "The last storm we had it started coming in the garage, so this time I am just going to stop it before it happens", said Josh Jones of Oxnard. They then released more water from the main damaged spillway to "avert more erosion at the top of the auxiliary spillway". "If that wasn't enough, we also can't rule out thunderstorms, possibly spawning water spouts Friday night into early Saturday", said meteorologist Jon Erdman.

Mud slides and urban flooding are possible throughout the region.

A flash flood watch for Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties was canceled Saturday morning.

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