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California storm: Possible tornado hit state while Los Angeles was under flash flood warnings

California storm: Possible tornado hit state while Los Angeles was under flash flood warnings

Flash flood warnings were announced in parts of California early on Thursday amid reports of a possible tornado in the southern half of the state.

Heavy rain and thunderstorms were expected to continue Thursday with widespread flooding risk including in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Pomona, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

A possible tornado was reported overnight in Grover Beach, southern California after warnings were issued late Wednesday.

The threat of mudslides remains high from the storm, which unleashed historic amounts of rain this week, leaving the ground saturated.

At least nine people have been killed from falling trees, car crashes, and being swept away in raging waters.

Community organisers told The Independent on Wednesday that Los Angeles’ storm response for the city’s large homeless population was “abysmal” and accused authorities of telling “bold-faced-lies”.

Key Points

  • Nine dead in storm

  • Flash flood warning for parts of California, including Los Angeles

  • California residents survey damage caused by historic storms: ‘We were in shock’

  • Los Angeles Mayor: 'Please continue to stay vigilant’

ICYMI: Four rescued after avalanche at Nevada ski resort

Wednesday 7 February 2024 09:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Four people who were reported missing after an avalanche at a Nevada ski resort have been found safe.

The avalanche hit the Lee Canyon ski resort on Monday in south Nevada, around an hour outside of Las Vegas.

Search and rescue teams from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department were called to the site to try and locate several people who were reported missing.

They announced on X on Monday that four people were initially reported missing, but now everyone has been located and is safe, adding that they were assisting people off the mountain.

Lee Canyon has experienced about one to two feet of snow within the past two days and will be closed on Tuesday and possibly Wednesday, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Amelia Neath has more...

Four rescued after avalanche at Nevada ski resort

Heavy cloudburst forecast for Wednesday

Wednesday 7 February 2024 10:06 , Stuti Mishra

While the storm has eased and Southern California was expected to begin drying out in a day, a surge of heavy rain in a short period is expected over Los Angeles with some areas areas also expected to see a few inches of rain.

The forecast shows California can expect a sunny weekend, but saturated grounds means there is still some risk of mudslides on Wednesday.

California saw raw sewage spills amid heavy rain

Wednesday 7 February 2024 11:00 , Katie Hawkinson

On Monday, 1,000,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled into California’s Dominguez Channel, which leads to the Pacific Ocean. Los Angeles County Public Health officials closed the Cabrillo Beach Ocean Waters in San Pedro as a result. The beach will remain closed until officials can conduct bacterial testing, officials said.

Meanwhile, two separate sewage spills have impacted beaches in Long Beach, California.

Approximately five million gallons of sewage spilled into the Dominguez Channel, subsequently running off into the Port of Long Beach and Compton Creek leading to the Los Angeles River, according to a statement from the City of Long Beach.

Another 40,000 gallons of sewage were also released into the City of Commerce in a separate incident, according to city officials.

“These spills occurred early this morning, prompting immediate action from local authorities,” the city’s statement reads. “The exact cause of the sewage spills is currently under investigation, with capacity issues due to heavy rains and potential sewer damage being considered as possible factors.”

ICYMI:San Diego officials warn of potential price gougers

Wednesday 7 February 2024 12:00 , Louise Boyle

Local government officials in San Diego urged residents to report any incidents of price gouging during the storm on essential items like housing, gas, food and other necessary supplies.

“Price gouging during a state of emergency is illegal. Here’s where to report it,” wrote San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, sharing a link on X.

Watch as speedboat takes dogs to safety after overflowing river trapped them

Wednesday 7 February 2024 13:00 , Katie Hawkinson

ICYMI: California flooding in pictures as ‘1 in 1000 year’ storm wreaks havoc

Wednesday 7 February 2024 14:00 , Katie Hawkinson

A historic storm has deluged California over the past three days, bringing record amounts of rainfall and hundreds of catastrophic mudslides.

The storm is a “1-in-1000 year” rainfall event with Los Angeles’ Westwood neighbourhood recording nearly 12 inches of rain in 24 hours, according to the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. The storm is the second major event in two weeks to strike the region, powered by an atmospheric river dragging in moisture from the ocean.

More than 300 landslides were reported in LA alone, the fire department said.

Forecasters predicted the rain will begin to ease later on Tuesday. However, the threat of flooding remains high as the ground is extremely saturated, the National Weather Service said.

See the shocking photos of storm damage throughout California:

Photos: ‘1 in 1000 year’ storm wreaks havoc in California

‘It was mayhem’: Los Angeles residents survey damage caused by historic California storms

Wednesday 7 February 2024 14:30 , Mike Bedigan

Firefighters responded to a heavy debris flow in the Beverly Crest area of Los Angeles on Sunday night, evacuating seven homes. Residents tell Mike Bedigan they had “not even remotely had anything like this before”.

Read the full story here:

‘It was mayhem’: LA residents survey damage caused by historic California storms

The power slowly comes back on in California

Wednesday 7 February 2024 14:38 , Louise Boyle

Power was being restored across California on Wednesday after nearly half a million households were left in darkness this weekend due to the severe storm.

Just over 69,000 customers were without power on Wednesday, mostly in the northern half of the state.

Those homes were located in the wine country counties of Napa and Sonoma, and then further south in Monterrey, according to utility tracker Poweroutage.us.

Power outages declined to 69,000 on Wednesday from half a million customers this weekend (poweroutage.us)
Power outages declined to 69,000 on Wednesday from half a million customers this weekend (poweroutage.us)

Wednesday 7 February 2024 14:47 , Louise Boyle

A cliffside collapse in Santa Barbara County on Tuesday has led to the evacuation of dozens of people.The oceanfront apartment complex in Isla Vista was left on the edge of the precipice following days of rain and strong winds pounded southern California.

Some 45 were evacuated, according to the local fire department, who shared drone footage of the incident. Video showed a guardrail tipping towards the ocean and cracked patio paving.

Watch: California storm causes fatal flooding as mass evacuations are put into effect

Wednesday 7 February 2024 15:00 , Mike Bedigan

Watch: Rain erodes California cliff prompting evacuation of nearby residences

Wednesday 7 February 2024 15:23 , Louise Boyle

More heavy downpours for San Diego

Wednesday 7 February 2024 15:33 , Louise Boyle

The National Weather Service reported on Wednesday morning that the most widespread showers will continue to move inland into San Diego County with brief heavy downpours.

‘Mayhem'

Wednesday 7 February 2024 15:53 , Louise Boyle

Jill Shinefield stood in front of the yellow caution tape in the drizzle. Behind her the scene was chaotic, with debris strewn across the road and an abandoned black Nissan half submerged in mud.

“It was mayhem,” she said. “We’ve lived here 23 years, we’ve never, not even remotely, had anything like this before.”Read Mike Bedigan’s on-the-ground account of Los Angeles’ flooding for The Independent.

California residents survey damage caused by historic storms: ‘We were in shock’

LA looks to recovery but the scale of damage unknown

Wednesday 7 February 2024 16:19 , Louise Boyle

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said the city was looking toward helping people recover from the weather’s pounding. Officials will seek federal emergency money to help move homeless people out of shelters and to aid owners of damaged hillside homes where insurance companies wouldn’t cover the losses, she said.

But counting the damaged homes might take a while, she warned at a Tuesday evening news conference.

“The hillsides are soaked, some of them are still moving,” Bass said. “So hopefully no more homes will be damaged, but it’s too early to tell.”The Associated Press

Workers survey a mudslide Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in the Beverly Crest area of Los Angeles (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Workers survey a mudslide Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in the Beverly Crest area of Los Angeles (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

In pictures: Some of Los Angeles wealthiest zip codes choked in rivers of mud after hillside collapses

Wednesday 7 February 2024 16:44 , Louise Boyle

Firefighters look over damage from a large mudslide which occurred at the intersection of Beverly Drive and Beverly Place in the Beverly Crest area of Los Angeles on February 5 (© Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
Firefighters look over damage from a large mudslide which occurred at the intersection of Beverly Drive and Beverly Place in the Beverly Crest area of Los Angeles on February 5 (© Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)
A grand piano lays upside down at a property destroyed by a mudslide during a storm, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in the Beverly Glen area of Los Angeles (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
A grand piano lays upside down at a property destroyed by a mudslide during a storm, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in the Beverly Glen area of Los Angeles (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
City workers help to remove a eucalyptus tree that fell onto a house and over power lines along Bundy Drive in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles on Tuesday ((AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes))
City workers help to remove a eucalyptus tree that fell onto a house and over power lines along Bundy Drive in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles on Tuesday ((AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes))

Breaking: Search underway in California after military helicopter goes missing with five Marines on board

Wednesday 7 February 2024 16:55 , Louise Boyle

Search and rescue crews are looking for a US Marine Corps helicopter which disappeared en route to San Diego as a severe storm battered the region.

The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter was reported “overdue” after it failed to arrive at Miramar Air Station in southern California on Tuesday night.

The helicopter, which had five Marines on board, had been traveling from Las Vegas, Nevada.

Search underway in California for five marines on board missing military helicopter

Watch: California fire crews share update after mudslides in Los Angeles

Wednesday 7 February 2024 17:27 , Louise Boyle

LA gets drenched

Wednesday 7 February 2024 18:02 , Louise Boyle

It has been the second wettest, three-day period in downtown Los Angeles since people began making records, the National Weather Service said on Wednesday morning.

The area received another inch-and-a-half of rain on Tuesday, following four inches on Monday, and nearly three inches on Sunday.

This totalled 8.51 inches, according to NWS. This is the 2nd highest consecutive, three-day total since records began in downtown LA in 1877.

February 2024 is also now the 15th wettest of any month in this part of LA since records began.

Wednesday 7 February 2024 18:15 , Louise Boyle

The San Diego area was bearing the brunt of the weather on Wednesday with scattered showers.

Areas farther north will see more isolated showers through this afternoon, the National Weather Service reported.

More widespread rain and high elevation snow were expected to develop overnight into Thursday.

The mesmerizing atmospheric river as seen from space

Wednesday 7 February 2024 18:29 , Louise Boyle

The system that brought severe impacts to California was captured from space as it churned its way across the Pacific.

The atmospheric river, which drags moisture in from the ocean, was responsible for record-breaking rainfall and heavy snow across western parts of the US.

Satellite imagery, published on Wednesday, showed the system moving its way on to the Southwest, bringing heavy precipitation along with it.

What are atmospheric rivers?

Wednesday 7 February 2024 18:45 , Louise Boyle

A deadly Pacific storm, the second “Pineapple Express” weather system to sweep the West Coast in less than a week, dumped torrential rain over Southern California, triggering street flooding and mudslides throughout the region.

The National Weather Service documented staggering rainfall amounts from the storm, and hurricane-force gusts of wind, along with heavy precipitation that intensified as the system moved south.

But what are atmospheric rivers?

Why an atmospheric river has created a state of emergency in California

Multiple agencies search for missing military helicopter near San Diego

Wednesday 7 February 2024 19:04 , Louise Boyle

San Diego County Fire Department said that they have joined search efforts for a military helicopter reported missing in the area north of Interstate 8 & Kitchen Creek Road, located southeast of Pine Valley.

The search has been made more difficult by snowfall, the agency reported.There are five Marines on-board the helicopter. A severe storm, powered by an atmospheric river, brought major flooding to the southern part of the state.The CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter was reported “overdue” after it failed to arrive at Miramar, near San Diego, on Tuesday night from Las Vegas.

Search underway in California for five marines on board missing military helicopter

Watch: Downed power lines spark saturated vegetation in California

Wednesday 7 February 2024 19:35 , Louise Boyle

Wet days are getting wetter in California, scientists warn

Wednesday 7 February 2024 19:44 , Louise Boyle

With each incremental uptick in global heat, the consequences are becoming severe.

Multiple studies have found that atmospheric rivers in California are up to 15 per cent wetter due to climate change, the nonprofit Climate Signals reported.

“Although 15 per cent may not seem like a lot, that extra precipitation can sometimes mean the difference between no flooding at all or flood water entering into a home or overtopping a levy, due to limitations in infrastructure that was not designed to operate in a world unnaturally warmed by human-caused climate change,” the science team wrote.

A gas station attendant walks past gas pumps on a flooded street, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in Lakeside, California
A gas station attendant walks past gas pumps on a flooded street, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, in Lakeside, California

Pictured: Homeowners survey the damage from rivers of mud

Wednesday 7 February 2024 20:01 , Louise Boyle

Home owner Dion Peronneau recounts how she was awoken by the sound of cracking around 4am on Monday morning as a mudflow forced its way into her home early in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Home owner Dion Peronneau recounts how she was awoken by the sound of cracking around 4am on Monday morning as a mudflow forced its way into her home early in the Baldwin Hills area of Los Angeles (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Nine dead from storm

Wednesday 7 February 2024 20:38 , Louise Boyle

The death toll has increased to at least nine people from California’s severe storms, officials said.

Four people were killed in California by falling trees, the Office of Emergency Management said. Three were killed in vehicle collisions in the Bay area.

Another fatality was caused by a vehicle being swept away in a flood channel. An individual died while trying to cross the US-Mexico border across the Tijuana River.

Watch: California: Dogs ride speedboat to safety after overflowing river traps them on island

Wednesday 7 February 2024 20:44 , Louise Boyle

Huge rockslide comes down on California highway

Wednesday 7 February 2024 21:06 , Louise Boyle

A huge mud and rockslide has - once again - blocked State Route 33 in California, public officials warned on Wednesday. The California Department of Transportation share an image of the two-lane road which hugs the mountainside, around 25 miles of Ojai.

SR-33 is a north-south highway which runs from Route 101 in Ventura through southern California’s Transverse mountain range to the city of Tracy, close to Modesto.

Floodwater pours into Pacific Ocean

Wednesday 7 February 2024 21:16 , Louise Boyle

Drone footage captured floodwater pouring into the Pacific Ocean after California was drenched by record rainfall.

A deadly storm, the second “Pineapple Express” weather system to sweep the West Coast in less than a week, triggered street flooding and mudslides throughout the region.

At Dana Point, to the south of Los Angeles, floodwaters emptied into the ocean on Tuesday.

“You can see all those brown floodwaters filtering into the bright blue Pacific Ocean,” Dr Reed Timmer, an extreme meteorologist, said.

Floodwaters pour into Pacific Ocean after record rainfall drenches California

Another ‘burst’ of rain to be expected in San Diego

Wednesday 7 February 2024 22:38 , Michelle Del Rey

The National Weather Service in San Diego County is telling residents to prepare for another burst of rain on Wednesday evening.

Most of the rain is across the foothills and the mountains, Alex Tardy, of the County Emergency Operations Center, said. Rainfall is expected to increase between 9pm to 3am PST. Tricky travel conditions are likely on I-8, he said.

The rain will start in Oceanside and Carlsbad and will get down to San Diego by midnight. The area could see a half inch or inch of rain, meaning additional flooding could occur in urban areas.

Officials are urging commuters to check the news for reports before leaving their homes. On Thursday, residents can expect isolated showers.

Residents in Los Angeles County to experience rain from 6pm

Wednesday 7 February 2024 23:00 , Michelle Del Rey

Residents in Los Angeles County should prepare for rain starting at 6pm through midnight as rainfall moves south from San Luis Obispo County.

Officials worried death toll could increase once water recedes

Wednesday 7 February 2024 23:20 , Michelle Del Rey

Officials are concerned the death toll could increase once water in Los Angeles County recedes. However, that could take days, according to the Los Angeles Times, as rainfall is expected to persist through Wednesday.

So far, the death toll is nine.

Three were killed in vehicle collisions in the Bay area. Another fatality was caused by a vehicle being swept away in a flood channel. An individual died while trying to cross the US-Mexico border across the Tijuana River.

A Los Angeles school is set to reopen after it was closed due to heavy rainfall.

Wednesday 7 February 2024 23:40 , Michelle Del Rey

Officials announced that Topanga Elementary Charter School will reopen following heavy rainfall this week. The Los Angeles Unified School District confirmed the news in a post to X, formerly Twitter.

The campus will be open from 7.30am. Parents and guardians should call the school if they have any questions. Another Los Angeles school, Vinedale College Prepatory Academy closed this week due to weather conditions but reopened on Wednesday.

In pictures: LA’s unhoused community struggles with severe weather

01:00 , Mike Bedigan

California Storms (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
California Storms (Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
 (AP)
(AP)
 (AP)
(AP)
 (AP)
(AP)
 (AP)
(AP)

Los Angeles Mayor: 'Please continue to stay vigilant’

01:30 , Mike Bedigan

Watch: Community organisers cut up tarps for ‘storm kits’ for unhoused community

02:30 , Mike Bedigan

Unhoused community members worried to compete for limited housing space during storms

03:00 , Mike Bedigan

Community organiser Carla Orendorff told The Independent that there were around 10,000 unhoused people in the area of San Fernando valley alone and that the idea of competing with others for such limited space was heartbreaking for some.

One individual, she said, had told her: “I don’t have a chance and honestly getting my hopes up that way would kill me.”

On Wednesday, the LA Mayor’s office said that Los Angeles Homeless Services Association (LAHSA) had activated six additional shelters for people experiencing homelessness “in addition to the seven previously established winter shelters”.

An exact number of additional beds was not given.

California residents survey damage caused by historic storms: ‘We were in shock’

04:00

Firefighters responded to a heavy debris flow in the Beverly Crest area of Los Angeles on Sunday night, evacuating seven homes.

Residents told Mike Bedigan they had ‘not even remotely had anything like this before’. Read the full story here:

California residents survey damage caused by historic storms: ‘We were in shock’

Is it time for a Cat 6?

05:00 , Mike Bedigan

A handful of super powerful tropical storms in the last decade and the prospect of more to come has a couple of experts proposing a new category of whopper hurricanes: Category 6.

Studies have shown that the strongest tropical storms are getting more intense because of climate change. So the traditional five-category Saffir-Simpson scale, developed more than 50 years ago, may not show the true power of the most muscular storms, two climate scientists suggest in a Monday study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They propose a sixth category for storms with winds that exceed 192 miles per hour (309 kilometers per hour).The Associated Press

As warming stokes storms, some want a bigger hurricane category

Millions of gallons of raw sewage spills into Pacific after heaving flooding in California

07:00 , Mike Bedigan

Five million gallons of raw sewage has spilled into the Pacific ocean as a result of heavy flooding caused by the ongoing storms in California, according to officials.

On Monday, Long Beach City Health Officer, Dr Anissa Davis, ordered all recreational swimming areas temporarily closed for water contact due to two separate sewage spills.

According to a press release from the City of Long Beach, approximately five million gallons of sewage was discharged, the majority of which entered the Dominguez Channel leading into the Port of Long Beach.

Sewage had also leaked into the Compton Creek leading to the Los Angeles River, the release added.

In addition to the spill in Rancho Dominguez – located between Compton and Long Beach – another 40,000 gallons of sewage were reported to have spilled in the City of Commerce.Mike Bedigan reports.

Floodwaters pour into Pacific Ocean (Accuweather)
Floodwaters pour into Pacific Ocean (Accuweather)

Hail, tornado warnings issued for California central coast

09:00 , Mike Bedigan

The National Weather Service has issued tornado and hail warnings for residents in Morro Bay and Los Osos. While pea-sized hail and 55mph winds are possible in Atascadero CA, Morro Bay CA and Cayucos CA until 4.15 PM PST.

The tornado warning has only been issued for 4.15pm

Flash flood warning for parts of California, including Los Angeles

10:00 , Stuti Mishra

A flash flood warning is in place for parts of California, including Los Angeles, Long Beach and Pomona, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.

The warning will stay in place until 3am. NWS urged drivers to take extra precaution on the road and avoid driving through flooded roads.

Watch: California storm causes fatal flooding as mass evacuations are put into effect

11:00 , Mike Bedigan

'Mountain was coming down': Residents recall harrowing mudslides

11:30 , Stuti Mishra

The storm fuelled by the second of back-to-back atmospheric rivers to hit California in days brought over 500 harrowing mudslides in the state.

Some residents are cleaning up fallen trees and debris, while others say their homes are too damaged for them to live in.

Wendy Barron escaped her Hacienda Heights home during Tuesday's historic downpours in Southern California. Her husband, Jesus Barron, told The Associated Press that he answered his wife's panicked phone call warning him that a mudslide was smashing into their bedroom.

"She called me and told me the mountain was coming down," he recalled on Wednesday. "I thought the worst."

heir home was seriously damaged when mud flowed down the hillside and blasted through the two retaining walls the family built when they moved in seven years ago.

"It's not enough to stop Mother Nature, of course," Mr Barron said.

While the couple was able to retrieve some belongings, their house isn't liveable, they say. Now, they need to decide whether they want to return once it's repaired.

"We love it here," Mr Barron said. "However, it wouldn't be easy to go through this again."

LA authorities’ response to homeless citizens during California storms dubbed ‘abysmal’

12:00 , Mike Bedigan

Community organisers have accused Los Angeles authorities of “bold-faced lies” and said the city’s response to its unhoused population during the recent catastrophic storms has been “abysmal”.

Despite promises that extra aid would be available, contact with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) has reportedly been difficult, exacerbated by the fact that many seeking shelter do not have phones or internet access.

Read the full story here:

LA authorities’ response to homeless citizens during California storms ‘abysmal’

Time lapse: Evolution of two atmospheric rivers that hammered California

12:30 , Stuti Mishra

Two atmospheric rivers have battered California in last two weeks, with the recent storm bringing record-breaking rains.

A time-lapse video of the satellite footage shared by Colorado based Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere CIRA) shows the evolution of these weather systems.

When will the rain end?

13:00 , Mike Bedigan

Officials are predicting that Friday could be the last chance for rain with a dry weekend ahead. Southern California is currently expecting its wettest two-day period since 1877.

So far, 13 inches of wind has battered the area, leaving homes significantly damaged. The state had recently been in a drought but experts say that violent weather transitions are to be expected as the planet warms.

Breaking: Five Marines confirmed dead after helicopter crash

13:48 , Louise Boyle

Five US Marines have been confirmed dead after their helicopter went down during severe weather in California.

The CH-53E helicopter was recovered in the Cleveland National Forest outside of San Diego. The cause of the crash is being investigated, CNN reported.

The aircraft had been travelling to a base in southern California from Nevada when it went missing.

ICYMI: Death toll rises to nine in California storms as mudslides ravage Los Angeles

14:00 , Mike Bedigan

The death toll has increased to at least nine people from California’s severe storms, officials said.

The storm, which has unleashed biblical proportions of rain this week, was expected to continue impacting the state until Thursday or Friday.

Read Louise Boyle’s recap here:

Death toll rises to nine in California storms as mudslides ravage Los Angeles

Authorities investigating possible tornado in Grover Beach

14:20 , Katie Hawkinson

Experts with the National Weather Service are investigating whether a tornado struck California’s Grover Beach on Monday.

“A very strong “weather event” passed right over the PD and City Hall,” Grover Beach Police Commander Jim Munro said on X. “@NWSLosAngeles is looking into the possibility of it being a tornado.”

The event appears to have knocked down several trees in its wake.

Nevada braces for heavy snow, rain as storm continues

14:43 , Katie Hawkinson

Residents of Central and Southeast Nevada should brace for heavy winter storms today, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters expect up to 12 inches of snow in the high-elevation regions of Nevada today. Meanwhile, Southern California is still seeing heavy rain bringing continued risks of floods and devastating landslides.

After cliff collapse, nearby community returns safely to homes

15:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Earlier this week, a cliff in the seaside community of Isla Vista collapsed due to heavy rain.

Residents have since returned to their homes, local outlet KTLA5 reports. The disaster hit amid a devastating series of weather events in California, including hundreds of mudslides throughout the state.

California power lines on the mend as outage reports shrink

15:20 , Katie Hawkinson

Some 30,000 households in California are without power as of Thursday morning, according to PowerOutage.us, marking a major improvement from earlier this week.

When this week’s atmospheric river first made landfall in California over the weekend, nearly half a million households lost power. Now, with less than 50,000 still without, Californian officials appear to be making significant headway in repairs as the state recovers from the worst of the rain.

The state isn’t in the clear yet though — heavy rain and snow in higher elevations are expected through the end of the week, and the risk of devastating mudslides remains high due to saturated soil.

SEE IT: Possible tornado knocks down trees in Grover Beach, California

15:40 , Katie Hawkinson

Officials are investigating whether a tornado swept through California’s Grover Beach yesterday, according to local official Jim Munro.

Southern California coastlines remain under flood advisories

16:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Residents of the Southern California coast remain under flood advisories as of Thursday morning, the National Weather Service (NWS) reports.

Meanwhile, residents are also warned to stay away from beaches as riptides and flooding remain an issue, per the NWS. The coastal town of Grover Beach is currently reeling from a massive weather event that NWS officials are investigating to determine if a tornado swept through the region.

SEE IT: Drone footage of eroded cliff in California

16:20 , Katie Hawkinson

ICYMI: LA authorities’ response to homeless citizens during California storms dubbed ‘abysmal’

16:40 , Katie Hawkinson

Community organisers have accused Los Angeles authorities of “bold-faced lies” and said the city’s response to its unhoused population during the recent catastrophic storms has been “abysmal”.

Despite promises that extra aid would be available, contact with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) has reportedly been difficult, exacerbated by the fact that many seeking shelter do not have phones or internet access.

The Independent’s Mike Bedigan has the story:

LA authorities’ response to homeless citizens during California storms ‘abysmal’

NWS reveals five-day rain totals for Los Angeles area

17:00 , Katie Hawkinson

The National Weather Service (NWS) released five-day snow and rain totals for Southern California.

Over just five days, several areas of Los Angeles received well over a foot of rain, with the highest total of 14.88 inches recorded at Cogswell Dam.

Meanwhile, California’s Mountain High hit nearly 4 feet of snow, recording up to 42 inches over five days.

While Californians will get a reprieve from the storms today, according to the NWS, risks of flooding and landslides remain due to over-saturated soil.

California’s Mammoth mountain Ski Area recorded several inches of snow over the past five days (AP)
California’s Mammoth mountain Ski Area recorded several inches of snow over the past five days (AP)

SEE IT: Satellite footage of swirling storms over California yesterday

17:40 , Katie Hawkinson

Possible tornado in Grover Beach could be county’s first in 20 years

18:20 , Katie Hawkinson

Officials with the National Weather Service are currently in Grover Beach, California investigating whether a tornado struck the seaside city.

If they confirm it was a tornado, it would be the county’s first in 20 years — and only the third on record, according to Greg Diamond, weather producer for Fox Weather.

What are waterspouts?

18:40 , Katie Hawkinson

The National Weather Service (NWS) has warned of waterspouts along the California coast — but what exactly are they?

Waterspouts are, essentially, like tornadoes that happen over a body of water, according to the NWS. There are two types: fair weather and tornadic waterspouts.

Tornadic waterspouts are exactly like tornadoes, except they form over water and sometimes move to land. or move from land to water, the NWS says. Fair weather waterspouts, on the other hand, form in light wind conditions, generally move less and dissipate quickly.

ICYMI: ‘Mountain was coming down’: Residents recall harrowing mudslides

19:00 , Stuti Mishra

The storm fuelled by the second of back-to-back atmospheric rivers to hit California in days brought over 500 harrowing mudslides in the state.

Some residents are cleaning up fallen trees and debris, while others say their homes are too damaged for them to live in.

Wendy Barron escaped her Hacienda Heights home during Tuesday’s historic downpours in Southern California. Her husband, Jesus Barron, told The Associated Press that he answered his wife’s panicked phone call warning him that a mudslide was smashing into their bedroom.

“She called me and told me the mountain was coming down,” he recalled on Wednesday. “I thought the worst.”

heir home was seriously damaged when mud flowed down the hillside and blasted through the two retaining walls the family built when they moved in seven years ago.

“It’s not enough to stop Mother Nature, of course,” Mr Barron said.

While the couple was able to retrieve some belongings, their house isn’t liveable, they say. Now, they need to decide whether they want to return once it’s repaired.

“We love it here,” Mr Barron said. “However, it wouldn’t be easy to go through this again.”

SEE IT: Community organisers cut up tarps for ‘storm kits’ for unhoused community

19:20 , Katie Hawkinson

Community organisers have accused Los Angeles authorities of “bold-faced lies” and said the city’s response to its unhoused population during the recent catastrophic storms has been “abysmal,” The Independent’s Mike Bedigan reports.

Update: California power outages on the rise again

19:27 , Katie Hawkinson