Highway in California closed by mudslides, more rain in the forecast

/ AP

West hit with winter weather

Los Angeles — 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.

The rapper Soulja Boy was among those whose cars were mired in the muck that was up to 4 feet 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.

My car got stuck too almost went into the ocean 🙏🏾 https://t.co/ks4HlrsS9u

— Soulja Boy (@souljaboy) January 6, 2019

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

"These are heavy rates," the weather service tweeted.

Up to 1 ½ inches 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 of brush and timber acres in November, destroyed about 1,600 structures and claimed three lives.

Storm system to bring 1-2 inches of rain across much of SLO/SBA counties through Mon,, with local totals 2-4 inches in Santa Lucia Mtns. Peak rates 0.25-0.50 inches per hour with local rates up to 0.75 inches per hour across the foothills of NW SLO County. #SLOWeather #cawx pic.twitter.com/bOrqgfwOKV

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) January 7, 2019

The sun emerged Sunday in Los Angeles and the red carpet for that night's Golden Globe award ceremony. Scattered showers were possible later in the night.

To the north, wind and rain forced delays or cancellations 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 of rain, with the heaviest downpours coming after sunset.

Strong winds and downed trees knocked out electricity for at least 20,000 customers across the Sacramento region Sunday night. The National Weather Service said Sunday that winds gusted up to 49 mph.

Saturday's storm brought about a foot 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.

The main impacts for storm tonight-Monday will be potential for roadway flooding in SLO/SBA counties as well as possible wind damage across the mountains and Antelope Valley foothills where gusts 50-60 mph are expected tonight. #LAWeather #LArain #cawx #SLOWeather

— NWS Los Angeles (@NWSLosAngeles) January 7, 2019

Two feet of snow was reported at Mammoth Mountain 150 miles south of Tahoe. More than a foot fell in the upper elevations around Tahoe, including 19 inches 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 at Sea-Tac Airport in Washington, the National Weather Service in Seattle said. Dozens of flights in the region were canceled or delayed.

First published on January 6, 2019

© 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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