Heavy rain hammered Southern California relentlessly this week, prompting Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger to declare a state of emergency for six counties in the Los Angeles area.
The torrential downpour caused major flooding in the Orange County coastal community of Laguna Beach, forcing officials to close the downtown area, which was several feet underwater.
Police evacuated several thousand residents in areas near Los Angeles in danger of mudslides, UPI reported.
A rain-swollen hillside collapsed onto a busy highway road east of Los Angeles, AP said.
In San Diego and southern Orange County, about 13,000 lost power, San Diego Gas & Electric said.
Wednesday’s storm followed nearly a week’s worth of heavy rain in the region.
According to UPI, the severe flooding caused sewage and petroleum leaks in San Diego, Fresno, and La Mesa.