The Latest: Mudslides destroy homes in California deluge

LOS ANGELES/January 09, 2018(AP)(STL.News)— The Latest on storms in California (all times local):
7:20 a.m.

Several homes have swept from their foundations and residents are unaccounted for as mudflows into Southern California neighborhoods below hillsides scarred by recent wildfires.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department Capt. Dave Zaniboni says crews are making rescues across the foothill enclave of Montecito northwest of Los Angeles.

He says some of those rescued were buried in mud and debris. Active searches are underway as rain continues to fall from a huge winter storm that has soaked much of the state.

Crews are working to clear debris from roads across greater Los Angeles, including a key stretch of U.S. 101 that was shut down along the border of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

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6:50 a.m.
The wettest rainstorm of the winter dumped steady rain in fire-ravaged Northern California communities but only some fallen trees and minor rockslides were reported overnight.

Santa Rosa Assistant Fire Marshal Paul Lowenthal says no major problems have been reported in the hillsides communities hardest hit by wildfires in October where heavy rain brought the risk of mudslides.

Lingering showers are expected Tuesday, but forecasters say the storm would exit the region by the evening.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported rockslides in the lower Russian River and Sonoma Coast temporarily blocked roads and that about 50 people in the Cazadero area were without power after a tree fell into power lines
The National Weather Service says that more than 2 inches (5centimeters) of rain fell at Sonoma County Airport’s and that up to 1 1/2 additional inches were expected by Tuesday morning. Similar amounts were reported across that county.
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6:30 a.m.
Crews are rescuing residents from homes as mud and debris from wildfire-scarred hillsides inundate Southern California neighborhoods during a powerful winter storm.

Santa Barbara County spokeswoman Amber Anderson says helicopters are being used early Tuesday because roads are blocked by downed trees and power lines.

Anderson says there are reports of injuries, but she didn’t immediately know how many or the extent. She says “multiple” residents have been rescued and more are calling for help in Montecito and Carpinteria. Evacuations were ordered in those foothill neighborhoods Monday because of mudslide fears.

Thousands are without power in and around Santa Barbara, northwest of Los Angeles.

The first significant storm of the season has soaked much of the state. A record 3.15 inches (8 centimeters) of rain fell in downtown San Francisco on Monday.
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5:10 a.m.
Heavy rains pounding Southern California for a second day are causing floods and loosening hillsides as officials in fire-ravaged communities warn people to stay off roads over fears of mud and debris flows.

Traffic accidents have slowed the Tuesday morning commute to a crawl across the region, including along coastal U.S. 101 in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. That’s where thousands of residents evacuated Monday over fears of destructive mudslides in areas where the state’s largest-ever fire raged last month.

Forecasters issued flash flood warnings and predicted the cold front with powerful winds could bring several inches of rain.

A winter weather advisory is in place for mountain areas, where officials warned motorists to prepare for difficult travel conditions, including gusty winds, low visibility and snow-covered roads.

By Associated Press, published on STL.NEWS by St. Louis Media, LLC (TM)

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