California faces more heavy rain after storm that left three people dead


Further heavy rain is forecast for California after a huge Pacific storm left three people dead, and forced hundreds to leave their homes.

The National Weather Service predicted the return of wet weather in the region, and warned of possible flooding in parts of the state.

Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area were facing a weekend return of the heavy rain and winds that lashed them earlier in the week.

The authorities said the San Joaquin River is reaching flood stage, and told residents in Manteca to be ready to evacuate in case it reaches dangerous levels.

“Stronger southerly winds and widespread flooding will be likely as an atmospheric river (of moisture) takes aim somewhere along the central California Coast,” a weather statement warned.

The approaching rain could cause more problems in the far north, where damage to spillways of the Lake Oroville dam forced the evacuation of 188,000 people last weekend.

Meanwhile, authorities up and down the state were dealing with the fallout, including overflowing creeks, mudslide threats in foothill areas denuded by previous fires, road collapses and hundreds of toppled trees in neighbourhoods.

North-west of Sacramento, nearly 200 people were evacuated on Saturday as overflowing creeks turned the town of Maxwell into a brown pond, with some homes getting two feet of water.

Fire Chief Kenny Cohen said nearly 100 homes and the elementary school filled with a couple of inches of water before the water began receding. The area received about three inches of rain by Saturday morning.
No injuries were reported.

In the desert town of Victorville in Southern California, several cars were washed down a flooded street, and one man was found dead in a submerged vehicle after others were rescued, San Bernardino County fire spokesman Eric Sherwin said.

In the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles, a man was electrocuted when a tree falling in heavy rain downed power lines that hit his car.

On Saturday, searchers found the body of a man in his 20s who was swept down a rain-swollen gully in Thousand Oaks a day earlier.

KCBS-TV reported that the body was found in Arroyo Conejo Creek. Three other people stranded by the water were rescued.

In the Studio City area of Los Angeles, a sinkhole swallowed two cars, the second on live TV as viewers watched it teeter on the edge before plunging in. One driver was taken to the hospital in fair condition.

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