Deadly storm causes havoc in Southern California and Northeast
Flood watches were in effect for various areas in Southern California and southern Arizona late Friday following heavy rainfall and coastal flooding that wreaked havoc across parts of Southern California. A driver died in Los Angeles County early Friday after his vehicle hydroplaned and crashed before submerging in water from heavy rainfall in parts of Southern California. The death occurred in the city of Carson as an atmospheric river delivered heavy rains and coastal flooding to portions of Southern California after wreaking havoc on some roadways.
The storm system drenched parts of coastal Southern California with 1 to 5 inches of rain from early Wednesday to late Thursday, with some areas seeing more than 6 inches of rainfall. The deluge led to knee-deep floodwaters in some areas, road closures and an evacuation warning for communities in Ventura County just days before the holiday weekend.
In nearby Ventura County, the coastal city of Oxnard’s downtown area flooded after a month’s worth of rain fell in a single hour on Thursday morning. The weather service put into perspective the impact of 3.18 inches of rain falling in just one hour by noting, “The average rainfall for the entire month of December is 2.56 inches.” The deluge affected at least 60 homes in Ventura County, where Oxnard and Port Hueneme bore the brunt of the storm.
The severe flooding led to officials in Ventura County to issue an evacuation warning for parts of the county. Floodwaters in some Ventura County areas reached 2 to 3 feet deep, and the county’s fire department received 275 calls within five hours — a staggering uptick from its estimated 190 calls per day.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the US, thousands on the East Coast dealt with the impacts of a deadly storm that brought heavy rain and damaging winds to parts of the Northeast earlier this week, flooding roadways and knocking out power for thousands as cold temperatures persisted. At least eight storm-related deaths were reported across several states, with four of those deaths occurring in Maine.
As of midday Saturday, nearly 13,000 homes and businesses in Maine were still without power. Two people who had been missing in the Maine town of Mexico after their vehicle was swept into rising floodwaters Monday were confirmed dead, police said in a statement Thursday.