California escapes major damage from Thursday downpour
A major storm brought localized mudslides and street flooding to California and some people had to be rescued from stranded vehicles, but the fire-scarred state escaped large-scale damage.
Flash flood waters receded in Northern California and crews on Friday cleared debris from roads, culverts and levees that flooded in Chico, said Butte County spokeswoman Kelly Hubbard.
Debris flowed downhill from Paradise, a town destroyed by a wildfire three weeks ago, to Chico during a downpour Thursday that dumped 11⁄2 inches of rain in an hour, the National Weather Service said.
The rain hammered roads, trapping people in about 100 vehicles and forcing some evacuations in Chico, a city of 90,000 where many Paradise evacuees are staying.
All roads closed during the emergency were opened by Friday, and the Butte County Sheriff’s Office said mandatory evacuations for homes in low-lying areas are now evacuation warnings.
Light showers were forecast for later Friday in the Sierra Nevada, where snow was expected in lower elevations, according to the weather service, which issued a winter storm warning for the Sierra to go into effect Friday night through Saturday morning.
All evacuation orders were lifted for residents near a Southern California wildfire burn scar.
Orange and Riverside County authorities removed restrictions Friday morning as fair weather returned after a storm that brought heavy rains to a mountainous area burned earlier this year. Elsewhere in the region, the city of Malibu reports that all but one of the streets hit by a mudslide Thursday have been reopened.
Corona fireman Charlie Apodaca places sand bags at a business to protect it from flooding along Temescal Canyon Road on Thursday in Corona, Calif.