Dangerous Storm Hits South California

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(Newswire.net — February 18, 2017) —In the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles, a falling tree downed the power lines and hit a car. A 55-year-old man was electrocuted and pronounced dead at a hospital, police and fire officials officially stated.

Later in the same neighborhood, a sinkhole swallowed two cars. Firefighters rescued one person from the first car, and the driver got out of the second before it fell. No one was injured, reports the ABC News.

More than 60,000 people in Los Angeles remained without electricity due to hundreds of downed trees and power lines. Further south, downtown Los Angeles received about one and a half inches of rain, while some areas saw up to four inches.

Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at University of California, Los Angeles, tweeted the storm was undergoing explosive deepening and to expect damaging wind and torrential rain from Monterey to Los Angeles.

With winds gusting to 70 mph or more lashed parts of the region, the authorities ordered the population in the most vulnerable parts of California to evacuate, because of the dangers of possible landslides and swollen rivers.

Because of the storm, more than 300 arriving and departing flights at the Los Angeles International Airport have been delayed or canceled.

Also, more roads have been blocked due to the flooding caused by heavy rain.

According to the San Bernardino County fire spokesman, Eric Sherwin, in the desert town of Victorville, several cars were washed down a flooded street. A helicopter rescued one person from the roof of a car but another motorist was found dead in a submerged vehicle.

The storm was strongest in Southern California, and was quickly spreading northward to San Francisco, but it was not expected to bring significant rainfall in the far north, where more than 188,000 people have been evacuated due to the damaged spillways at the Oroville Dam, the tallest water gate in the U.S.

The National Weather Service warned that this could end up being one of the strongest storms that has hit southern California since December 2004 or maybe even January 1995.