Dec 11, 2014 5:44 PM
The latest on powerful California storm
The Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Here is the latest on the storm hitting California gathered by AP reporters across the state:
9:35 p.m. PST
Rains have begun falling on parts of Los Angeles. Light showers were felt in the Mission Hills and Reseda sections of the San Fernando Valley a few hours before much heavier rainfall was expected.
9:20 p.m. PST
State transportation officials say heavy rains washed out a portion of the southbound lane of Highway 1 in Marin County.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports the washout forced closure of the southbound lane of Highway 1 between Panoramic and Muir Woods Road in Muir Beach.
5:30 p.m. PST
While much of California gets soaked, parts of the Central Valley are getting doused with dust.
Forecaster Dan Harty of the National Weather Service says that gusts ahead of an advancing rain storm hit over 40 mph Thursday in places such as Merced and Bakersfield.
That's creating dust that is causing zero visibility in some areas.
Harty says the storms should move into the Central Valley late Thursday and drop rain throughout the night.
5:07 p.m. PST
The city of Glendora has called for the mandatory evacuation of homes near the Colby Fire burn area because of fears that the approaching storm could cause mudslides.
The city on the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles announced it would raise its alert level from orange to red starting at 10 p.m. Thursday. The move shifts evacuations from a suggestion to an order.
The Colby Fire burned 1,900 acres on the steep slopes above the cities of Glendora and Azusa in mid-January.
4:34 p.m. PST
Sonoma County authorities are recommending that hundreds of people evacuate the lowest lying areas near the Russian River, which is projected to start overflowing overnight.
Forecasters say the peak of the Russian River flooding in the towns of Guerneville and Monte Rio is expected to occur by 10 a.m.
Sonoma County spokeswoman Christin Williams says authorities are recommending people in up to 300 homes evacuate.
4 p.m. PST
In San Jose, the roof of a grocery store partially collapsed, exposing a 50-square-foot hole above the produce section. One person suffered a minor injury but details were not immediately available, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
3:35 p.m. PST
The approaching storm has delayed the launch of a U.S. defense satellite on the central coast.
An Atlas V rocket carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office had been scheduled to lift off Thursday from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
However, the launch was postponed to Friday night because of concerns that the storm might bring rain, heavy clouds, gusty winds and even lightning.
2:43 p.m. PST
Los Angeles should expect rain by the end of the day. Already, one apartment complex in a spot prone to mudslides in Riverside was evacuated. In the San Bernardino National Forest, lumber workers were loading concrete weights onto the stacks to keep them from blowing away, and piling sandbags in front of their shop doors to stave off floodwater.
2:16 p.m. PST
Authorities in Southern Oregon say high wind toppled a tree and killed a homeless man sleeping in a tent along the Pacific Crest Trail. The Medford Mail Tribune reports that the Jackson County sheriff's office said 40-year-old Phillip Crosby complained of difficulty breathing and died shortly afterward.
The tree was described 8 inches to 10 inches in diameter, and 20 feet tall.
1:48 p.m. PST
Tire chains are required on all vehicles traveling Interstate 80 over the Sierra Nevada, except four-wheel-drive vehicles with snow tires, from Kingvale in Placer County to the Donner Lake Interchange in Nevada County. Restrictions on big-rigs traveling over the mountains are also in place.
Winds gusting to 140 mph through Sierra Nevada passes damaged homes and closed schools in the South Lake Tahoe area, and grounded commercial airline flights in Reno.
1:22 p.m. PST
The National Weather Service says some parts of Sonoma County got 9 inches of rain overnight. Venado, about 12 miles west of Healdsburg, got 9.04 inches.
1:07 p.m. PST
Pacific Gas & Electric reported more than 117,500 customers were without power in the Bay Area. The utility's online map showed lights out over thousands of square miles, from Humboldt near the Oregon border to Big Sur on the Central Coast.
12:37 p.m. PST
The streets near downtown Healdsburg were about two or three feet under water. At a Safeway grocery store, teenagers drove trucks through a flooded parking lot, trying to make waves for kayakers playing in front of the store. Grocery shoppers, meanwhile, trudged through water to get supplies.
11:55 a.m. PST
In Santa Cruz, about an hour south of San Francisco, an elementary school student was trapped for about 15 minutes when an 80 foot tree fell on him, pinning his arm and shoulder until rescuers with chain saws freed him. He was taken to a hospital in good condition but likely a fractured arm.
11:34 a.m. PST
Interstate 5 closed in both directions at Weed in far Northern California due to flooding.
11:05 a.m. PST
Some street flooding was reported in the Sacramento Valley as heavier rain moved in. The National Weather Service issued an urban and small stream flood advisory until Thursday night for much of the Sierra foothills and northern Central Valley.
The U.S. Forest Service warned of storm-related dangers in the Sierra Nevada where a forest fire last year burned 400 square miles of Stanislaus National Forest and part of Yosemite National Park.
10:28 a.m. PST:
The National Weather Service said a frontal rain band moved across the San Francisco Bay area during the morning, producing widespread flash flooding with rainfall rates of more than 1 inch per hour.
10:15 a.m. PST:
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for areas burned in last summer's massive King Fire in El Dorado and Placer counties. Mudslides also were reported closing some roads in Lake County as the heaviest rain moved inland.
The snow level was about 8,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada, still above highway level, but was expected to lower to about 4,500 feet and cause chain controls and traffic delays overnight, said Brooke Bingaman of the National Weather Service in Sacramento.
One mountaintop monitor recorded a wind gust of 147 mph.
9:53 a.m. PST:
Boat trips taking people to Alcatraz Island, an iconic stop for San Francisco visitors, were canceled due the storm, according to Alcatraz Cruises LLC, the company that operates the tours. Tickets will be refunded, and the company said on its website that it expected to be operating again Friday.
9:30 a.m. PST:
On Twitter, the hashtag #BayAreaStorm was trending, while #HellaStorm had been tweeted about 10,000 times over 24 hours, according to analytics site Topsy.
9:25 a.m. PST:
The storm arrived overnight and dropped heavy rain north of San Francisco before spreading over the Bay Area. It's expected to move throughout the state through the day.