A torrential rain storm continued to soak California on Saturday after forcing some homeowners to evacuate, creating rock and mudslides and stranding drivers on flooded roads. But for all its fury, the rainfall remains a drop in the bucket for the water-starved state.
A flash flood watch remained in effect as forecasters warn of coastal flooding after three inches of rain fell in some parts of Southern California. Waves along the coast could reach some 12 feet. Surf and wind advisories are also in effect until 5 p.m. (8 p.m. ET) warning Californians of gusting 45 mph winds.
The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings throughout Los Angeles County, urging residents to take precaution to protect life and property from quick-flowing debris, rain and mud.
Winter storm warnings were issued in the mountains discouraging residents from traveling. In higher-elevation areas, snow accumulation could range anywhere from 6 to 12 feet.
While the rain, which began Thursday, is a welcome sight for many in California, which is mired in its third year of a debilitating drought, high winds and debris have caused road closures, power outages and about 1,000 home evacuations in the Los Angeles area.
The wild weather was also wreaking havoc on pre-Oscar plans Saturday, but it's expected to die down on Sunday morning — just hours before the Academy Awards kicks off in Hollywood.
Meanwhile, experts predict that the state would need a lot more rain to resolve the extreme drought plaguing the state. It would need to rain every other day until May to reach average precipitation totals, said Richard Stapler, spokesman for the California Natural Resources Agency.