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Winter storm creates mudslides, shutting down California highway and trapping motorists

California is hit by the weather gods once more as powerful storm triggers mudslides across wildfire territory, trapping motorists in their submerged cars

  • A winter storm blowing through California produced hillside mudslides which trapped motorists on the Pacific Coast Highway  
  • Cars were mired in mud that was up to four feet deep in some areas 
  • The mudslides occurred in Southern California wildfire burn areas 
  • A portion of the highway is expected to remain shuttered through Monday
  • The northern part of California is expecting more wet weather Sunday  

A powerful winter storm unleashed mudslides in Southern California wildfire burn areas and trapped motorists on a major highway, and the northern part of the state braced for more wet weather Sunday.

Saturday’s deluge loosened hillsides where a major blaze burned last year in and around Malibu, clogging the Pacific Coast Highway with mud and debris.

A stretch of the scenic route northwest of Los Angeles was expected to remain closed in both directions until Monday while crews tow away stuck vehicles and clear lanes. No injuries were reported.

Saturday’s winter storm created mudslides in California, trapping motorists on the Pacific Coast Highway, portions of which are expected to remain closed until Monday

The mudslide left cars mired in mud that was up to four feet deep in some areas

The mudslide left cars mired in mud that was up to four feet deep in some areas

Rains of up to 1.5 inches were recorded falling in coastal and valley areas Saturday

Rains of up to 1.5 inches were recorded falling in coastal and valley areas Saturday

The rapper Soulja Boy was among those whose cars were mired in the muck that was up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) deep in some areas.

The 28-year-old retweeted a photo of the mudslide and posted: ‘My car got stuck too almost went into the ocean,’ along with a prayer emoji.

An automated rain gauge in the western Santa Monica Mountains showed nearly three-quarters of an inch (nearly 2 centimeters) of rainfall in one hour, said the National Weather Service.

‘These are heavy rates,’ the weather service tweeted.

Up to 1 ½ inches (3.8 centimeters) of rain fell in coastal and valley areas, while mountain communities got heavy snow.

Flash-flood watches and warnings were eventually lifted for areas burned by the fires that scorched more than 155 square miles (404 square kilometers) of brush and timber acres in November, destroyed about 1,600 structures and claimed three lives.

The sun emerged in Los Angeles on Sunday and the red carpet for the evenings Golden Globe awards were expected to remain dry. Scattered showers were possible later in the night.

Crews were out in full force Sunday, clearing mud from the Pacific Coast Highway

Crews were out in full force Sunday, clearing mud from the Pacific Coast Highway

Cars that were trapped by the mudslide occurring in Southern California's wildfire burn areas 

Cars that were trapped by the mudslide occurring in Southern California’s wildfire burn areas 

The heavy thunder and rain storm was said to have caused hundreds of car accidents 

The heavy thunder and rain storm was said to have caused hundreds of car accidents 

Los Angeles freeways were left in a state of chaos after the winter storm hit Saturday night

Los Angeles freeways were left in a state of chaos after the winter storm hit Saturday night

Rapper Soulja Boy tweeted he on the highway during the mudslide and got into an accident

Rapper Soulja Boy tweeted he on the highway during the mudslide and got into an accident

To the north, wind and rain forced delays or cancelations of flights out of San Francisco International Airport for a second day. A wind advisory was in place until 10 p.m. Sunday.

The San Francisco Bay Area could get up to 1 ½ inches (3.8 centimeters) of rain, with the heaviest downpours coming after sunset.

Saturday’s storm brought about a foot (30 centimeters) of snow to the Sierra Nevada and twice that amount was expected Sunday. A winter storm warning was in effect until 4 a.m. Monday.

Avalanche warnings were posted in parts of California, Nevada and Utah. The Sierra Avalanche Center issued a backcountry avalanche warning for the Lake Tahoe area stretching south into the Sierra along the California-Nevada line from noon Sunday until 7 a.m. Monday.

The National Weather Service says blizzard conditions with gale-force winds could trigger widespread avalanche activity.

Two feet (61 centimeters) of snow was reported at Mammoth Mountain 150 miles (241.39 kilometers) south of Tahoe. More than a foot (30 centimeters) fell in the upper elevations around Tahoe, including 19 inches (48 cm) at Squaw Valley.

Windstorms that pummeled parts of Washington state and Oregon over the weekend left hundreds of thousands of people without electricity.

A strong system brought winds that registered gusts of about 60 mph (96 kph) at Sea-Tac Airport in Washington, the National Weather Service in Seattle said. Dozens of flights in the region were canceled or delayed.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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