SoCal Braces for Fierce Storm

Canyon residents ordered to leave for fear of mudslides
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2008 11:35 PM CST
A surfer rides a wave churned by a winter storm underneath the south tower of the Golden Gate Bridge Friday, Jan. 4, 2008, in San Francisco Bay. A fierce arctic storm pounded California on Friday, threatening...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A storm that battered Northern California and knocked out power for more a million people today is drenching Los Angeles tonight, sparking evacuation calls for an estimated 3,000 people, the Los Angeles Times reports. Torrential rain is expected and residents of canyon areas scorched by the October wildfires have been ordered to leave for fear of mudslides.

"It's too late once the rain starts. These areas are extremely vulnerable," an emergency official said. Water rescue teams are ready and residents are sandbagging their homes ahead of what is likely the heaviest SoCal rainfall in years. In Northern California, freeways and flights are shut down after 80 mph winds hurled trees into cars and houses. No deaths have yet been reported, the AP reports.