updated 10/28/2004 10:32:20 AM ET 2004-10-28T14:32:20

California’s second major storm this month dumped snow in the mountains northeast of Los Angeles and unleashed heavy rain Wednesday across the entire southern part of the state.

The downpour contributed to an accident in the Orange County suburb of Laguna Niguel, where a sport utility vehicle struck and killed a 14-year-old girl as she walked to school.

In Los Angeles County, the body of a man was found Wednesday in the Los Angeles River.

Nearly 17,300 Southern California Edison customers were without power, a utility spokesman said.

The storm was expected to linger through Thursday, producing more rain and mountain snow, with occasional thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service.

A swift-water rescue team saved a man from the rushing San Gabriel River east of Los Angeles Tuesday night.

In the Toluca Lake area of the San Fernando Valley, another team used a helicopter to save a yellow Labrador retriever that was stranded in a wash basin.

In San Bernardino County, a mudslide forced authorities to close Interstate 215 in both directions north of Muscoy. No injuries were reported.

Rain and snow soaked the San Bernardino Mountains, where wildfires last year destroyed dozens of homes and left hillsides bare of vegetation. Lake Arrowhead has received 3.85 inches of rain and 2 inches of snow this week; 2 feet of snow fell in Big Bear City, where a highway was closed for several hours after trees struck a power line.

In Sun City, a suburb just south of Perris in Riverside County, authorities rescued seven people trapped in their vehicles by 4-foot-high floods, a county fire spokesman said.

The storm squelched the threat of wildfires but was not enough to reverse the state’s six-year drought or reduce wildfire threats for future years, authorities said.

In San Diego County, flooding, mudflows and rockslides blocked roads in rural and mountain regions, including areas where last year’s wildfires burned out vegetation. No evacuations were ordered, but authorities warned of possible flash floods and landslides.

In the city of San Diego, flooded streets tied up commuters and brought traffic on interstates to a crawl.

Los Angeles has recorded about 4.5 inches of rain this month. San Diego County has had about 4.2 inches.

The powerful storm first dipped down from Alaska on Tuesday, flooding homes and cutting power to thousands in the Bay Area, and leading to record-setting snow in the Sierra Nevada.

A weather station in the central Sierra run by the University of California-Berkeley reported Tuesday that 48 inches of snow had fallen there this month, the most for October since record-keeping began at the site in 1945. The previous record was 36 inches in October 2000.

Many Sierra ski resorts were reporting their earliest openings in years.

A surprise storm last week already had dumped up to 3 feet of snow.

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