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At least four dead as powerful storm pounds Southern California

By Daniel Uria
At least four dead as powerful storm pounds Southern California
At least four people were killed in California as a powerful storm brought heavy rains, strong winds, mudslides, flooding, rushing waters and sinkholes. Photo courtesy of SBCFireInfo/Twitter

Feb. 18 (UPI) -- At least four people died as the result of heavy rains and intense winds brought on by a powerful storm in Southern California.

Heavy precipitation covered the roads in San Diego with at least eight inches of rain, causing a pair of fatal crashes, while mudslides, rushing water and falling trees caused significant damage and left at least two more people dead.

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California Highway Patrol reported that a car struck multiple vehicles, killing one person and leaving three injured after hydroplaning on across Interstate 15 in San Diego.

A woman was killed in a two-car collision on Interstate 15 north of Interstate 805 when her vehicle crashed into the back of a truck on the side of the freeway ramp.

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San Bernardino Fire rescued one person and found one more dead after swift waters swept several vehicles downstream and submerged them in water.

A 55-year-old man died after being electrocuted in the Los Angeles area when he came in contact with a downed power line. A large tree was downed in the area, bringing several power lines down along with it.

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More than 100,000 people across Southern California lost power and evacuation orders were issued for areas affected by last summer's brush fires as police feared potential mudslides.

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A pair of sinkholes opened up near Studio City and along Interstate 15. The first swallowed two cars and left one person injured and a truck fell into the second, but no injuries were reported.

A landslide measuring 300 yards wide and 1,000 feet long threatened four homes, two of which were uninhabited and a San Bernardino County fire station.

Fearing potential flooding, officials in the Bay Area closely monitored the Anderson Reservoir, which stands at 99 percent capacity.

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Travel was made difficult or impossible as police warned residents to remain off the roads and hundreds of flights from local airports were delayed or canceled.

About 250 Southwest Airlines flights to and from various parts of Southern California were canceled. American Airlines also canceled almost 50 flights from Los Angeles International Airport.

The slow-moving storm is expected to bring about 2 to 6 inches of rain to the area before moving out on Saturday. Another storm is expected to move into the area early next week, following a short break on Sunday.

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