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California Drought

Heavy Rains Due to Hit California Again, Threatening Floods and Mudslides

Rain, mudslides soak West Coast 2:50

Drought-stricken California was due for a fresh deluge of rain on Wednesday, with forecasters warning of possible floods and landslides from a significant dump of precipitation. A band of rain on Sunday triggered three mudslides near Malibu and forced nine miles of the Pacific Coast Highway to close. Wet blasts since then have set off flooding, knocked out power and sparked mandatory evacuation orders for parts of California. Los Angeles on Tuesday saw its wettest Dec. 2 on record when 1.15 inches doused the city.

Southern California will be drenched again on Wednesday, with forecasters warning of a wet and slippery commute with another 1 to 1.5 inches expected across the region. "In general, that's a lot," said Weather Channel meteorologist Kevin Roth, adding that the parched state could "really use it."

Still, he said the rain would increase the threat of landslides, mudslides and localized flooding — especially in the mountains, which could see a "quite substantial" 2 to 2.5 inches. The National Weather service said "flash flooding is a concern" and that gusty winds could also knock down trees and power lines in California. Flash flood watches were in effect for portions of Southern California as well as the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

Snow in Sierra Mountains Makes for Hazardous Driving 0:27

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— Cassandra Vinograd