2 Skiers Die, 2 Missing in Calif. Avalanches

Rain-drenched state braces for more storms, mudslides
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2008 9:03 AM CST
2 Skiers Die, 2 Missing in Calif. Avalanches
Children play with snow on the side of the road in the community of Mount Baldy, Calif., north of Claremont, Friday, Jan. 25, 2008. A powerful storm dumped snow and rain as it moved across California Wednesday, shutting down a major interstate highway and prompting flood watches in areas scarred by...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Winter weather has wreaked havoc in southern California, leaving two skiers dead and at least two more missing in avalanches in the San Gabriel mountains. The avalanches followed days of pounding storms, tornadoes, and mudslides, and the area is bracing for another major storm tonight, AP reports. Some 11,000 homes and businesses in southern California are currently without electricity.

The Los Angeles Times reports that recent wildfires have left hillsides and canyons especially vulnerable to erosion, and many hills could give way if heavy rains continue much longer. Both skiers were killed on back-country slopes near the San Gabriel peaks, the AP notes. Searches for the others missing were continuing today. (Read more avalanche stories.)

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