Powerful Storm Knocks Out Power to Thousands in Southern California; 1 Person Killed


A powerful Pacific storm rocked Southern California on Sunday, knocking out power to thousands in San Diego and killing at least one person.

Winds knocked over more than a dozen trees across the area, damaging homes and blocking roads — including a section of Interstate 5 in Oceanside, Calif., The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

In nearby in Pacific Beach, a large tree crashed into three parked cars and a fourth that was passing by, killing the occupant of the passing car, a fire official said.

The National Weather Service said the system was expected to drop about one inch of rain in San Diego by early Monday, with conditions turning cold enough to produce several inches of snow on the area’s highest mountain peaks.

The winds knocked out power to about 38,000 San Diego Gas & Electric customers, local media reported. A utility spokeswoman said some of those outages were blamed on downed power poles. All were weather related.

Under the pressure of consistent rain and pounding wind, play was suspended three times during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Resort in La Jolla on Sunday. Play was finally halted for the day at 3:35 p.m. PT, so golfers will have to tee it up Monday to determine a winner.

Forecasters said winds gusted to as high as 52 mph in San Diego, while the Los Angeles Times reported that winds of up to 70 mph hit Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

Wind gusts topped 115 mph at Whitaker Peak, 65 mph in Malibu Canyon and 61 mph in Beverly Hills. About 41,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers lost electricity because of downed power lines.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for northwestern Ventura and southeastern Santa Barbara counties for midday Sunday.

Forecasters said flash flooding was possible in recently burned areas throughout Southern California. Rainfall rates of half an inch per hour, it said, were “just enough to bring” mud, rocks and tree branches rushing down hillsides in areas that had recently burned.

SOURCE: Greg Toppo