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Rapid snowmelt triggers U.S. flooding

CLEVELAND, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Rapid snowmelt and ice jams caused flooding in three northern U.S. states Monday while winds and rain lashed Southern California, meteorologists said.

Quickly rising temperatures in Pennsylvania, Ohio and western New York produced a flood of snowmelt, officials said. The Rocky River in suburban Cleveland overflowed its banks Sunday, flooding several houses, and giant ice floes pushed marina docks out into Lake Erie, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

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The National Weather Service issued a flash-flood watch through Thursday morning for three creeks in suburban Buffalo, N.Y., citing reports of ice jams following the snowmelt and recent warm temperatures. A flood warning was also in effect for Lawrence County, Pa., southeast of Youngstown, Ohio, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said.

In California, heavy snows were forecast for mountain areas as the latest in a series of rainy, windy storms was predicted to lash Los Angeles, where wet conditions were blamed for dozens of traffic accidents over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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