Big storm hits Cal­i­for­nia

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

A pre-win­ter storm drenched Cal­i­for­nia with rain and dumped nearly three feet of snow to help bol­ster the vi­tal Sierra Ne­vada snow­pack but also trig­gered mud flows, street flood­ing and the dra­matic res­cue Fri­day of two home­less women and 10 dogs from a river is­land near Los An­ge­les.

With thou­sands of acres of wild­fire burn scars all over the state, au­thor­i­ties were war­ily mon­i­tor­ing bar­ren slopes where parched earth soaked with rain can cause life-threat­en­ing mud­slides. Mud from the San Gabriel Moun­tains flowed into the foothill city of Duarte east of Los An­ge­les be­fore dawn, af­fect­ing 18 homes where res­i­dents were told to not to leave, KCBS-TV re­ported. Fire­fight­ers res­cued two peo­ple stuck in cars.

A he­li­copter was sent Fri­day morn­ing to a home­less en­camp­ment on the small is­land in the San Gabriel River, where it hov­ered in rain be­tween power lines as the two women, six pup­pies and four adult dogs were hoisted to safety. When the Los An­ge­les County sher­iff’s air res­cue crew ar­rived, one of the women was on top of a shel­ter and the other was stand­ing knee-deep in wa­ter, said Deputy Brice Stella, a tac­ti­cal medic.

Stella hoisted one wo­man up but the other wanted to stay be­cause she feared her dogs would be left be­hind. Stella con­vinced her to go into the he­li­copter by say­ing he’d do his best to res­cue the dogs. The he­li­copter crew emp­tied two large bags nor­mally used to store gear, then low­ered Stella down with the bags. “I was able to fit all the dogs,” he said. “They ac­tu­ally looked well-cared-for.” Ear­lier, tor­ren­tial rain fell on the coast be­tween San Fran­cisco and Los An­ge­les near the land­mark Hearst Cas­tle late Thurs­day and rock­slides closed about 36 miles of High­way 1 in the re­gion. High­way crews ex­pected to have the scenic route re­opened by mid-af­ter­noon Fri­day. A weather sta­tion in the area recorded more than 5 inches of rain. In the Sierra Ne­vada, the Tioga Pass en­try point to Yosemite Na­tional Park re­ceived 35 inches of snow in 24 hours, the weather ser­vice said.

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