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Possible tornado hits southern California as storm dumps even more rain

Photography by Keith Getter (all rights reserved)/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — A storm sweeping through southern California overnight unleashed damaging winds and even more rain on an already saturated area.


A possible tornado hit a neighborhood of Grover Beach, south of Los Angeles, on Wednesday night. There was some property damage as well as downed power lines and trees in the area, but no reports of injuries, according to Five Cities Fire Authority Chief Steve Lieberman, who said his crews would fully assess the damage on Thursday morning.

The same weather system, which came on the heels of two back-to-back atmospheric rivers within a week, produced severe thunderstorm winds of up to 82 miles per hour in Ventura County and 75 mph in Los Angeles County. There were reports of trees being knocked down by the gusts.

Additional rain fell in downtown Los Angeles overnight, with a cumulative total of 9.03 inches in the last five days. Other parts of southern California got nearly 14 inches of rain during that same period — almost a year’s worth.

Mudslides and rockslides will remain a threat for southern California over the coming days.

Meanwhile, the mountains of southern California got up to 42 inches of snow, or 3.5 feet, in the last five days. The storm system will continue to move out of California, dumping even more snow on the southern Rocky Mountains on Thursday and Friday.

Drier weather is expected to settle into the Golden State by Friday, with just a few widely scattered and light rain showers in the forecast

The National Weather Service has issued storm alerts for 12 states, mostly for mountain snowfall and avalanche danger. Five states from Idaho to New Mexico are on alert for avalanches.

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