Storm Series Batters California, Arizona

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 20 (UPI) — Three consecutive storms from the northern Pacific brought Southern California 20 inches of rain, 15-foot surf and 60 mph coastal winds, forecasters said.

The National Weather Service reported a storm “with tornado-like strength pounded the Southern California coast” Wednesday. The storm caused more than 10,000 customers of Southern California Edison to be without power in areas such as Newport Beach, Lake Forest, Redlands and Mira Loma, KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, reported.

“It is inevitable that the storms today into Thursday will trigger more flooding and mudslides across California and Arizona,” AccuWeather forecaster Kristina Pydynowski said. “While this is especially true for areas recently burned by wildfires, the danger is heightening elsewhere as rain further saturates the ground.”

Residents in the Flagstaff, Ariz., area were warned the same storms would be inundating Northern Arizona with heavy snow this week. The (Flagstaff) Arizona Daily Sun said residents were urged to clear snow off their roofs and plan to stay home for a few days.

“If we get 3 or more feet of snow in the third storm system, it’s going to take us several days to reach residential neighborhoods,” said Flagstaff Vice Mayor Al White.

Copyright 2010 by United Press International

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