At least 26 homes were severely damaged in Riverside and San Bernardino east of Los Angeles and another 18 homes and 20 businesses sustained storm damage in Laguna Beach, the Orange County Register reported.
Officials in the city of Highland in San Bernardino County evacuated two areas in the eastern part of town and were said to be still worried that a 100-foot bluff could cave in, imperiling approximately 140 homes, the Register said.
Fire department crews put down 7,000 sandbags Wednesday night to protect bluff-area homes from mud pouring downhill, but their larger concern is a collapse of the bluff itself, the newspaper said.
The evacuation, conducted on the recommendation of geologists, began around 3 p.m. PST Wednesday and remains in effect, said Bill Peters, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman.
Homes and cars are buried in up to 4 feet of mud in the Plum Creek drainage area, where water rose so rapidly that around two dozen residents had to be rescued.
Twenty homes were "totally inundated," Peters said.
The National Weather Service said the region will have mostly sunny skies through Friday but there is a 50 percent chance rain will return Saturday and it could linger into Sunday and MOnday, the Los Angeles Times reported.