Strongest Storm In Years Batters West Coast With Fierce Wind And Rain

Electricity was cut in large portions of downtown San Francisco as a strong storm with high winds, torrential rain, and flooding hit the Bay Area. Passengers had to be evacuated from a train station that lost power.

What We Know So Far

  • At least two people died during the storm, which caused widespread debris and mudflows, particularly in fire-scarred Southern California.
  • A rare tornado touched down in South L.A., causing minor damage.
  • Two people had to rescued from a swollen L.A. River Friday after getting trapped by rapidly rising water.
  • Electricity was knocked out in a large part of San Francisco, causing the evacuation of riders on a BART train, the Los Angeles Times reported.
  • Officials in many areas canceled school — a first-ever rain day — and airline flights as the storm approached.
  • As much as 9 inches of rain has fallen on coastal mountain regions.
  • Wind gusts reached more than 100 mph at high elevations.


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The storm dumped more than 10 inches of rain on some parts of Northern California.

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A rare tornado touched down in South Los Angeles, causing damage to buildings, according to the National Weather Service. No injuries were immediately reported, KABC-TV reported.

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Here's a map showing the area where the tornado touched down.

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A waterspout was spotted off the coast of Newport Beach Friday afternoon. No injuries were reported from the rotating storm.

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The storm dropped the first snow of the year on Yosemite National Park.

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Firefighters were called to rescue two people from L.A. River after receiving reports of people stuck in trees Friday morning.

Rescue successful. Woman out safely. Headed to hospital.

Katherine Main, spokeswoman with the L.A. Fire Department, said the first person was transported to a local hospital in fair condition. Firefighters also launched a rescue boat Friday morning to get to a second person, who was described as being alert.

LAFD says they found the woman stuck in LA River. #larain

*UPDATE: 2876 N GLENDALE BL * Second patient located awake and alert, launching rescue boat. ^KM

The woman was also rushed to a local hospital after she was retrieved.

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Mud and rocks bury homes in Camarillo Springs.

Neighborhood practically buried by a rockslide here in Camarillo Springs.. 8 homes significantly damaged.

The area is especially vulnerable following previous mudslides on Halloween, which caused some homes to be red-tagged, according to ABC.

Storm causes mud/debris flow into homes in Camarillo Springs, CA - @LauriePerez #LArain

#BREAKING 12+ homes damaged or destroyed by mud in Camarillo Springs neighborhood.. No injuries evacuations underway

Torrential rain triggering mudslides in Camarillo Springs. Residents rescued after mud trapped them in their homes.

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Teen boy dies after tree falls on car in Oregon

A teenage boy died and a woman was seriously injured after a tree fell on their vehicle Thursday evening in Porland Ore.

The falling tree caused the woman, who was driving, to swerve the car and hit another tree. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene. His name and age have not been released. The woman was taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.

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Flash flood warning issues in Los Angeles

Everyone in LA was just woken up by this #LARain

The biggest storm to hit California in several years continued its powerful path early Friday as a flash warning was issued for Los Angeles County. Heavy rain moved east from the coast into the Inland Empire. Wind gusts were measured as high as 71 mph knocking down trees and causing power outages.

More than 6 million people are affected by flash flood warning in Los Angeles area until 5:30 am.

Approximately four inches of rain are supposed to hit Los Angeles between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. local time, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Palm tree out my window trying to hold on as storm hits LA

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Californians in multiple cities battled flooding Thursday. In Windsor, north of San Francisco, a city employee drained water through a manhole.

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Police in the L.A. area ordered mandatory evacuations Thursday night for those living near the site of the Colby Fire.

#colbyfire The Alert Status for the Colby Fire Impact Area has been updated to RED. MANDATORY evacuation orders...

The Colby Fire burned in Glendora, about 45 minutes east of downtown L.A. Mandatory evacuations began in Glendora at 10 p.m. PT for those near the fire's burn scar, where a lack of ground cover raised the risk of mudslides.

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Falling tree kills camper in Oregon.

A camper was killed Thursday after high winds knocked down a tree onto a camp site in southern Oregon, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said.

The falling tree, which was 8-10" in diameter, hit the tent and partially struck 40-year-old Phillip T. Crosby across the arm and chest. Crosby later had difficulty breathing and succumbed to his injuries.

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More than 123,000 customers were without power Thursday night in Western Washington as strong winds battered the region.

The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning for the Puget Sound area as winds gusted as high as 65 mph.

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As daylight faded Thursday, images showed rain soaked Californians wading through floodwaters all over the state.

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Two homes in Washaway Beach, Washington, were damaged Thursday when hillsides and cliffs collapsed in the storm.

One home collapsed and another teetered precariously on a cliff as heavy rain and storm-driven waves lashed the coast. According to King 5, rising tides and erosion also contributed the damage. A nearby resident told the TV station that one of the homes was built in 1973 and occupied by an elderly couple.

Ray Miller, another neighbor, told Komo News that he was racing to save his belongings.

"I knew it was going to happen sooner or later, but I had hoped it wasn't this soon," Miller said.

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Thursday's storm pounded Portland, Oregon, sending debris into the air that smashed the windows of a downtown high rise.

Metal crashed into standard building across the street. Blew out office windows. Scary!

And Portland International Airport recorded the strongest winds in more than 30 years.

Correction to prev tweet: Today's PDX gust to 67 mph was strongest since Nov 14 1981 (71 mph). #pdxtst #orwx #PacNWwindstorm

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Surfers braved the cold Thursday to take advantage of large waves on Lake Tahoe caused by the storm's fierce winds.

View this video on YouTube
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A driver was forced to push his car as flooding hit Highway 101 in South San Francisco.

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An electronic road sign was apparently hacked Thursday in Novato, north of San Francisco.

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Part of Somona County recorded more than 9 inches of rain, the National Weather Service said.

Peak Rain? #Sonoma County. Venado 9.04 inches. Hawkeye 8.13 inches. Lake Sonoma 6.98 inches. #BayAreaStorm

Wind gusts topped 80 mph in the mountains.

Peak High Elevation Gusts: Mt. Hamilton: 83 MPH, Chew's Ridge 72 MPH, Woodacre 71 MPH, Santa Cruz Mountains 64 MPH. #BayAreaStorm

About 240 flights at San Francisco International Airport had been canceled, airport officials said Thursday.

Approximately 240 flights have been cancelled. Please contact your airline directly for flight status and @511SFBay for traffic info. #SFO

RVs underwater at the Sonoma County line. I feel terrible for these folks. #StormWatch

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NASA image of storm moving through

Impressive #MODIS image from @NASA Worldview showing #BayAreaStorm moving through. #cawx

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By late morning, the worst of the rain had passed, according to the National Weather Service. Flooding remained an issue in some areas, however.

Moderate rain continues over SF and the Peninsula. Another half inch to one inch of rain expected today.

A flash flood warning was extended in Sonoma County, where high waters flooded along the Russian River and other areas.

Russian River flooding in Geyserville, Hwy 128 at bridge, per @McCallisterKim

Gotta love these guys embracing the rain! Canoeing across the parking lot to the grocery store in #Healdsburg #KTVU

Tens of thousands remained without power.

Current Bay Area Outages: San Francisco: 93,100 Peninsula: 9,300 South Bay: 1,000 East Bay: 10,300 North Bay: 3,600

Power Is out here at Fairmount Palms Apartments #SanLeandro #BayAreaStorm @PGE4Me has a new pole here, ready to Go!

The storm closed some highways, and caused flight delays and cancellations at San Francisco International Airport.

W/B 37 at Novato Creek is under water. E/B likely to close soon. Atherton Ave is alternate route.

Delays at SFO still averaging 3 hr 40 min

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Here's the PG&E outage map as of 9:19 a.m. PT:

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Power in large swaths of downtown San Francisco has been knocked out, the Los Angeles Times reported:

Power outage downtown makes for a ghostly skyline in the background #hellastorm

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Here's the storm's wind flow along the coast:
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Some Bay Area streets are flooded. This is in Petaluma:
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Power outages continue to increase across the Bay Area.

POWER OUTAGE UPDATE: San Francisco: 800 Peninsula: 5,700 South Bay: 2,800 East Bay: 9,000 North Bay: 2,900

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Water is gushing down some San Francisco streets:
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Looks like all of the lights in FiDi/Downtown are out #BayAreaStorm #hellastorm

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Band of very heavy rain now 15 miles west of Ocean Beach. #cawx #BayAreaStorm

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Power outages are beginning:

#NorCalStorm: About 3,000 people are without power in Davis. Scattered outages reported throughout Sacramento.

PG&E crews throughout the service area are working around the clock to respond to outages. #StormWatch #NorCalStorm

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Here's the National Weather Service's radar as of 6 a.m. PT:

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One meteorologist mapped out the wind gusts as of 6:30 a.m. PT:

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Bay Area residents are bracing for torrential rainfall.

HEADS UP! Very heavy band of rain moving toward #SF Region. 25 miles west of SF now. #cawx #BayAreaStorm

Reporting by Tom Namako, Claudia Koerner, Jon Passantino, May Ann Georgantopoulos, and Jim Dalrymple II.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.

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