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Dec 11, 2014 12:57 PM

The latest on powerful Northern California storm

The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Here is the latest on the storm hitting California gathered by AP reporters across the state:

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.

12:12 p.m. PST

The city of Glendora is urging voluntary evacuation of homes near the Colby Fire burn area as a powerful storm heads toward Southern California.

The city on the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles raised its alert level to orange Thursday morning.

The Colby Fire burned 1,900 acres on the steep slopes above the cities of Glendora and Azusa in mid-January.

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.


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