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SoCal storm: Small tornado tore through South LA Friday morning (updated)

Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
A home damaged by mudslides on Nov. 1 was further buried after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Robert Cancio, left, and Armando Lara of Southern California Gas Company work to cut off gas service from the street after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Ventura County Fire works to dig mud off streets after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
A home damaged by mudslides on Nov. 1 was further buried after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
A home damaged by mudslides on Nov. 1 was further buried after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
A home on San Como Lane is buried in debris after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Ventura County Fire works to dig mud off streets after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Homes on San Como Lane are buried in debris after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Ventura County Fire works to dig mud off streets after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Homes on San Como Lane are buried in debris after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
Ventura County Fire estimates that 12 feet of debris slid onto Gitana Avenue after an overnight storm caused mudslides in Camarillo Springs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 12, 2014.
Damage seen after Thursday night's storm in Camarillo Springs on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC


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Closures | Evacuations | Social media | Weather map | Recovering from a flood in 9 steps

An intense storm system settled on Southern California early Friday, causing thousands of power outages, flooding roadways, and triggering mudslides. Flash flood warnings were in effect early Friday for parts of Ventura and Los Angeles counties, including the Colby, Williams, Madison and Tecolote burn areas. We'll be tracking this story throughout the day and providing key updates and information on road closures, evacuation centers and more. Refresh the page for the latest.

Major road closures

Evacuations

Updates

Update 6:05 p.m. Small tornado tore through South LA Friday morning (video)

The National Weather Service confirmed Friday afternoon that a small tornado touched down Friday morning, causing damage in South Los Angeles.

It touched down at about 9:20 a.m., damaging an apartment complex roof, two residential roofs and a steel billboard, as well as trees in the area, according to the NWS.

"A small tornado EF0 category, which is wind speed range of 65 to 85 miles per hour, occurred near the intersection of South Vermont Avenue and West Gage Avenue to 57th Street and Figueroa Street," meteorologist Stuart Seto told KPCC.

Nobody was hurt, Seto said.

Tornado video

A water sprout was also spotted off of Newport Beach around 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon.

Glendora announced Friday evening that they were removing voluntary evacuation orders and lowering their alert level to yellow.

Update 4:35 p.m. Body found in Santa Clara River being investigated

Homicide detectives from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station were investigating whether the death of a man whose body was found in the Santa Clara River in Canyon Country was related to the heavy rain that pounded the area Friday morning, the Santa Clarita Valley Signal reports.

A resident walking along the wash Friday morning saw the body near Langside Avenue about a half-mile northwest of the Soledad Canyon Road bridge, the Signal reports.

Firefighters retrieved the body shortly before 11 a.m. and the unidentified man was determined to be deceased.

“We’re not positive if he was a homeless person who got swept away in the river. We don’t know,” Lt. Rob Hahnlein told the Signal. “He could’ve been dumped there.”

Because the body was found in a public area, homicide detectives were dispatched to investigate.

KPCC staff

Update 3:49 p.m. Heavy rains damage Camarillo Springs homes, Long Beach buildings

Heavy rain drenched Southern California Friday, downing trees and causing power outages and road closures. The storm also triggered a landslide that damaged several homes in Camarillo Springs in Ventura County.

Ventura County officials issued an evacuation order before 3 a.m. for 124 homes in Camarillo Springs.
 
"You know, once the stuff started coming off the hill and we said ‘OK, time to go,’ people were very cooperative," Ventura County Fire Department Capt. Mike Lindbery told KPCC.

He drove a few senior citizens back to their homes just long enough to gather their medications. The stuff coming off the hill  he mentioned was mud and, more unfortunately, rocks. Lindbery said it looked like a quarry in some places.
 
"If you had pushed a bunch of rocks over the hill with a dozer and had them surround a house… it’s a amazing, the impact and the force that came down on these houses," Lindbery said.
 
Lindbery said he’s surprised some of the homes are still standing.

In Long Beach, heavy rain knocked down the facade of a mix-use building. The structure also served as a walkway for residents living on the second floor. Businesses below had broken windows and debris.
 
Long Beach Fire spokesman Jake Heflin says four families live in the upstairs apartments.
 
"There were no injuries," Heflin said. "The residents were assisted off out of the building with the fire department. We had to throw a ladder to facilitate evacuations from the actual second story."
 
Heflin says another commercial building also suffered a roof collapse. Other areas of the city have had flooding and problems with downed trees.

Brian Watt with Bianca Ramirez/KPCC

Update 3:05 p.m. 1 person who heeded evacuation orders and 1 who didn't

Voluntary evacuations are still in effect in parts of Glendora over fear of mudslides. That’s the spot where the Colby Fire burned in January. Not everyone’s heeding the call, however.

Lynn Haddock obeyed the evacuation orders.
 
“We stayed in the house until the police cars came by, saying, ‘Get out!’”
 
Haddock went to a friend’s house, not to the city’s evacuation center — though she was there in the morning, checking on another friend who had spent the night.
 
They breakfasted in the largely empty teen recreation center. Only eight people had used the site.
 
Haddock tried to see her house, but couldn’t get past police barricades. She was curious to know if her pool had gotten filled with mud. Again.
 
“We just cleaned it out. It was full of mud. We just acid-washed it, filled it back up. And we’ll see what’s up there, so it’ll be interesting.”
 
Kathy Pabon didn’t heed the orders. She and her husband stayed to try to protect their home in Harrow Canyon — an effort of shovels and sandbags that began at 5 a.m. Though Pabon did kick out their daughter, who’d just arrived home from college.
 
“That’s mine and my husband’s choice to stay here, and she didn’t want to leave, but we just made her leave, because just being a protective parent.”
 
Pabon’s efforts seemed to work. She says no damage has been done to her home so far.

Jed Kim/KPCC

2:44 p.m. Scattered showers, isolated thunderstorms in LA County

Scattered showers with isolated thunderstorms were set to continue across Los Angeles County Friday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

The heaviest showers and potential small hail are likely from Burbank northeast to Tujunga, according to the NWS, impacting Interstate 5 and the 210. A flash flood watch remains in effect in recent fire burn areas.

Storms in the area will be capable of producing brief heavy downpours, gusty winds, small hail and lightning.

Power outages continued in the Southland Friday afternoon. As of 2 p.m., there were 18,000 total outages among LADWP customers, while over 17,000 Southern California Edison customers were affected. The hardest hit areas among LADWP customers included Los Feliz, South Park, San Pedro and Wilmington.

KPCC staff

1:55 p.m. Silverado Canyon evacuations lifted; Mandatory Glendora evacuations changed to voluntary

All evacuations have been lifted in the Silverado Canyon area, Orange County Sheriff's Department. Lt. Jeff Hallock tells KPCC. Mandatory evacuations in Glendora have also been lifted, according to the Glendora Police Department, but voluntary evacuations remain in place.

Mandatory Glendora evacuations lifted

Ann Eisler lives on San Como Lane in Camarillo Springs with her husband. While the area dealt with the storm, their home was not damaged.

They evacuated Thursday night, as well as for three days last week and in early November. They have lived there for three years — they previously had to evacuate for the Springs Fire.

KPCC staff

12:27 p.m.: LAUSD schools spared from major problems

Los Angeles Unified School District schools have been spared major problems from the storm, according to district officials.

Spokeswoman Shannon Haber said the storm knocked out power at half a dozen schools overnight. Electricity has been restored at all but one, Los Feliz Elementary School, which should see its power return by early afternoon. 

"We've been keeping very close to our schools. We encouraged principals, plant managers, students, parents, everyone, if they see something at the school to either go online and report it. Call our trouble hotline. And we’re making sure to stay on top of these issues if they do come in," Haber said.

LAUSD's central office received about 200 calls as of Friday morning, Haber said. All were related to water leaking through roofs.

The district has scheduled 23 roofing-repair experts to work overtime shifts over the weekend to fix the leaky roofs.

Storm problems can be called into the district’s hotline at 213-745-1600 or reported online.

— Adolfo Guzman-Lopez/KPCC

12:23 p.m.: Second person pulled from LA River

Firefighters have rescued a second person from the swift, swollen water of the Los Angeles River.

NBC4 reports that a diver jumped into the river and a helicopter was deployed in order to help pull the woman from the water shortly before noon near the Glendale Boulevard overpass close to Interstate 5.

12:15 p.m. More than a dozen homes uninhabitable

Ten homes damaged in Ventura County by an intense storm moving across the region have been red-tagged, or labeled uninhabitable and dangerous, according to a spokesman for the fire department.

Three more homes were yellow-tagged, which means they are uninhabitable but limited access is allowed, Ventura County Fire Capt. Mike Lindbery told KPCC.

The storm has brought up to an inch of rain an hour in some areas, triggering mudflows, rockslides and flooding, washing out roads and swelling rivers and flood control channels to dangerous levels.

Emergency responders have been busy responding to reports of accidents on the rain-slicked streets.

The California Highway Patrol reported 108 vehicle crashes in the San Diego area from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. — that compares to 50 to 75 during a 24-hour period in normal weather, according to the Associated Press.

A jackknifed truck on the Interstate 5 in Oceanside backed up traffic around four exits, AP reports.

12:01 p.m.: Thousands still without power; flood advisories still in effect

Thousands of people were still without power in scattered outages across Southern California shortly before noon as an intense storm continued with pockets of heavy rainfall.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power reported 23,000 customers were without power. The utility said crews were in full force and working around the clock and estimated that power would be restored in about 12 hours.

Among DWP customers, the outages hit Los Feliz, Van Nuys, Sun Valley and San Pedro hardest, with 2,000 to 3,000 outages in each neighborhood.

Southern California Edison reports that 11,415 customers were without power. The areas most affected are Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Lawndale, Hawthorne, Santa Clarita and Monterrey Park.

Ventura County has 1,485 outages, Orange County 910, and San Bernardino 539, Edison reports.

Meanwhile, a flash flood warning for eastern Orange County has been extended until 1:30 p.m. as showers continue to track across the region, according to the National Weather Service.

Brief but intense showers are still possible and could trigger dangerous debris flows, especially in and below the burn area above Silverado Canyon Road, the weather service reports. A mandatory evacuation alert is still in effect and the weather service recommends residents take immediate measures to protect life and property.

The ripple effects of all the excess runoff from the storm will continue to be felt for days. The L.A. County Department of Public Health warns anyone planning to visit area beaches to be wary of swimming, surfing or playing near discharging storm drains, creeks or rivers, as bacteria, debris and other health hazards will be carried into the sea from city streets and mountain areas.

Areas away from such sites are not included in the DPH advisory.

11:24 a.m.: Amtrak service restored

Amtrak service has been restored along the Pacific Surfliner and Coast Starlight services connecting San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles.

Those lines had been temporarily suspended because of the intense storm that brought heavy rain, flooding and mudslides to Southern California early Friday.

Only minimal train delays were being reported, an Amtrak representative told KPCC shortly after 11 a.m.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles International Airport has weathered the storm pretty well, LAX spokeswoman Mary Grady told KPCC.

The airport had a few cancellations, but daily cancellations are typical, Grady said, adding that some of the cities along the Central Coast and in San Francisco, the airport did see a handful of delays to and from Los Angeles.

The airport prepared for the storm by notifying airlines, concessionaires, vendors, ground handlers, and other tenants; placed sandbags around the central terminal area to prevent flooding; and had water pumps on standby, Grady said.

10:57 a.m.: LAFD continues search after LA River rescue

Firefighters pulled a man from a tree inches above the raging Los Angeles River in a dramatic rescue Friday, but two others were still reported missing, according to NBC4.

In Orange County, meanwhile, firefighters recovered the body of a dead man from swift-moving water in a Garden Grove flood channel, according to the Associated Press.

Authorities have not determined the cause of death, AP reports.

10:00 a.m.: Firefighters recovering body from OC channel, rescue at L.A. River

Firefighters are working to recover a body from a rain-swelled flood control channel in Garden Grove Friday, reports NBC4

Reports say the body was spotted at 7:28 a.m. in the water of the East Garden Grove Channel. The Garden Grove Police Department says firefighters saw the man's body stuck to the center pilar of a tunnel at Ward Street, according to NBC4. 

Meanwhile, firefighters are searching for two people reportedly clinging to trees in the Los Angeles River Friday. Instagram photos show a rescue helicopter overhead the river. 

Tweet of the rescue

Here is a before and after photo of the river. 

Photo: LA River before and after

9:07 a.m.: Sierra Madre Elementary closes for the day

School officials closed Sierra Madre Elementary School on Friday after the overnight storm knocked out power at the school. A notice on the Pasadena Unified School District website said families were notified this morning via phone messages. Classes are scheduled to resume on Monday.

Sierra Madre Middle School is not affected and will hold classes as usual.

8:59 a.m.: Cleanup begins in Glendora

Authorities have transitioned to cleanup mode in Glendora after the worst of an intense storm that prompted mandatory evacuations and caused flooding and mudflows that left some roads impassable, according to Glendora Police Lt. Matt Williams.

About 1,000 homes north of Sierra Madre are still under a mandatory evacuation order near the Colby Fire burn, Williams told KPCC's Steve Julian.

About eight people are currently using an evacuation center set up at the teen center in Glendora's Dawson Park, Williams said.

8:33 a.m.: Storm brings snow to the mountains

The National Weather Service reports "several inches" of snow at Mountain High Resort in the San Gabriel Mountains.

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8:15 a.m.: Flash flood advisories extended

The National Weather Service has extended its flash flood warnings for parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties until at least 10 a.m.

The storm has already brought heavy rainfall of up to an inch an hour in some places, causing mud flows, rock slides and power outages.

Rainfall will be light to moderate through the morning, but runoff from earlier rain bursts could continue to create roadway flooding and closures due to mudflows, the weather service said.

Areas near recent wildfires are of particular concern.

NBC4 reports that three flights had been canceled and 24 delayed at Los Angeles International Airport.

The storm is also bringing heavy surf — up to 12 feet — and strong rip currents, leading to dangerous swimming and surfing conditions. A surf advisory from NWS remains in effect through 3 p.m. Saturday.

7:31 a.m.: Evacuation centers begin serving local residents

Some residents displaced by an intense storm that has swept through the state have begun taking shelter at evacuation centers set up near burn areas.

Glendora police Lt. Matt Williams said five people are using an evacuation center after debris flows sent rocks the size of golf ball and bricks down the street, according to the Associated Press.

Williams said it's unclear how many people have left their homes, but no injuries or damage to homes have been reported in the area charred by the Colby Fire in January in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, AP reports.

Meanwhile, about 40 people displaced by mudflow in Camarillo Springs have come to an evacuation center there — two were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, Red Cross spokesman Tom Horan told AP.

Goddard Middle School in Glendora was closed Friday. A message posted to the school's Facebook page said classes would resume Monday.

The 710 Freeway has reopened after flooding caused the closure of all southbound lanes at Pacific Coast Highway earlier.

The National Weather Service said wind-driven rain in Southern California at one point fell at the rate of 1 to 2 inches an hour, AP reports.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power reported Friday morning that about 9,000 customers citywide were without power.

6:47 a.m.: More than 44,000 without power due to storm

More than 44,000 Southern California Edison customers were without power Friday morning because of an intense storm that has caused mudslides and flooding and prompted authorities to issue mandatory evacuations in communities near wildfire burn areas.

SoCal Edison spokesperson Robert Villegas told KPCC about 26,000 of those without power are in Los Angeles County.

6:35 a.m.: Amtrak service suspended

Amtrak service on the Pacific Surfliner route between San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles has been temporarily suspended because of the storm, the company said in a statement early Friday. 

The Coast Starlight service from SLO to L.A. has also been suspended, but passengers for that route will be provided with alternate transportation or accommodated on other trains, according to Amtrak.

6:03 a.m.: Homes damaged in Camarillo Springs

Rockslides and mud flows triggered by an intense storm that settled over Southern California early Friday have damaged homes near the Camarillo Springs burn area, according to Ventura County Fire Department

"We have experienced mud flows and actually there seems to be more rock coming down from the hillside from the Springs Fire a year and a half ago," Ventura County Fire spokesman Tom Kruschke told KPCC. 

A total of 124 homes were evacuated as of 5:30 a.m. Thursday, but Kruschke was unsure of the exact number of homes damaged. 

A mandatory evacuation began at 2:53 a.m. It is unclear when it will be lifted. 

5:51 a.m.: Mudslides, flooding as storm hits SoCal

Heavy rains from an intense storm that already drenched Northern California have triggered mudslides, power outages and flooding in Southern California.

The California Highway Patrol was tracking 20 accidents early Friday, about four times the average, according to CHP's Southern Division.

NBC4 reports two people had to be rescued from their homes in Camarillo Springs after they were trapped by a mudflow around 3 a.m.

More than 25,000 Southern California Edison customers were without power, according to the utility's website. The affected areas included north, central and western areas of Los Angeles County, including 2,500 residences in Redondo Beach, 1,900 in Santa Clarita, 1,605 in South Pasadena and 1,300 in Santa Monica. In all, 25,081 residences were without power, City News Service reports.

4:42 a.m.: SoCal storm hits south after drenching north

A dangerous storm system blamed for two deaths in Oregon, thousands of power outages in Washington and flooded roadways in the Bay Area that kept many from work and school pushed into Southern California on Friday, causing mudslides and evacuations.

Avalanches of mud and debris blocked part of the Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County, National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto said.

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

The brunt of the storm was expected to move into the Los Angeles area shortly before dawn, Seto added.

Precautionary evacuations brought on by fear of mudslides began late Thursday 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.

Denise George, who sells boats in Marina Del Rey, said that was her main worry.

"We make sure the halyards are secure, the canvases are fastened so nothing gets blown off or opened up, so yes, we are battening down the hatches, for sure," George said.

On Thursday, the center of the storm and its torrential rains hit the San Francisco Bay Area and the surrounding region, pushing waterways toward flood stage, toppling trees and cutting power to thousands.

"It's a big storm, as we expected, and it's headed south with very powerful winds and heavy rainfall," said National Weather Service meteorologist Will Pi.

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 southwest Washington and a sixth-grader at an elementary school in Santa Cruz,California.

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

This Pineapple Express storm carried warm air and vast amounts of water in a powerful current stretching from Hawaii to the West Coast and up into the mountains, where gusts up to 140 mph blew through passes.

The current left San Francisco drenched but balmy, with 60-degree temperatures, about 5 degrees above average for this time of year.

Waves slammed onto waterfronts around the Bay Area, ferries were bound to their docks, airplanes were grounded and many schools and businesses told people to stay home.

The gusts made motorists tightly grip their steering wheels on the Golden Gate Bridge, where managers created a buffer zone to prevent head-on collisions by swerving cars.

The iconic suspension bridge is engineered to swing in cross winds, so "the concern we have right now is more about vehicles," spokeswoman Priya David Clemens said.

Sonoma County authorities recommended that hundreds of people evacuate at least 300 homes in the lowest lying areas near the Russian River, which was expected to start overflowing overnight. Peak flooding in the towns of Guerneville and Monte Rio was anticipated by 10 a.m. Friday, forecasters said.

Authorities warned of minor flooding along the Sacramento River in Tehama County and Cache Creek in Yolo County.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. crews worked to restore power to 110,000 people, down from 166,000 earlier Thursday.

There were multiple accidents on flooded roads, and several trees crunched cars. Interstate 5, California's critical north-south thruway, was closed by flooding in the northern town of Weed. In Marin County, heavy rains washed out a portion of state Route 1.

Disembarking from a ferry in San Francisco, Malcolm Oubre said some people were overreacting.

"I know it's a big storm supposedly, but they're treating it like it's a hurricane," he said.

Teenagers drove trucks through a flooded Safeway parking lot to make waves for kayakers in Healdsburg as grocery shoppers trudged through several feet of water to get supplies.

East Coast kids revel in snow days, but closures are rare on the West Coast, so Thursday's canceled classes were a novelty in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Sonoma and Santa Cruz County.

Surfers welcomed big, choppy swells from the same high seas that sent towering sprays of water airborne along breakfronts in San Francisco and Monterey.

Ski resorts in the northern Sierra Nevada — where schools and roads were closed by whiteout conditions and power outages — were hoping for 3 feet of snow once it all settles.

While rains were expected to continue through Friday evening across much of California, farmers will need more storms this size to even begin to recover from a record drought.

— Associated Press Reporters Olga R. Rodriguez and Andrew Dalton

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This story has been updated.