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South state storm leaves outages; motorist rescued

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POSTED March 26, 2012 8:27 p.m.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Californians cleaned up Monday from a storm that hit many areas in frenzied bursts, flooding streets and freeways, zapping power and toppling trees and utility poles.

Crews rescued an injured driver whose pickup truck plunged 300 feet off a snow-covered Southern California mountain highway.

After the truck was spotted on a snow-covered slope below Angeles Forest Highway early Monday, the woman was airlifted to a nearby hospital.

Los Angeles County sheriff's spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said the driver had what appeared to be critical injuries.

About 6,500 people around Southern California were still without power Monday.

The rain ended Sunday's Auto Club 400 NASCAR race in Fontana 71 laps early. There wasn't a single crash in the race, but the crowd found plenty of mishaps on freeways around the raceway as they headed home.

The storm dumped nearly an inch of rain in downtown Los Angeles and up to 3 inches in Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains.

At Camarillo Airport in Ventura County, 1.27 inches of rain fell, breaking a 1977 record of .94 inches, the National Weather Service said.

There were 3,912 Southern California Edison Co. customers without power at 5:15 a.m. Monday, said utility spokeswoman Mashi Nyssen.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power had 2,500 customers left in the dark at 8 a.m.

In Vernon, about 100 customers lost power for about 90 minutes Sunday when more than a dozen power poles collapsed, the Vernon Light & Power Department reported.

Elsewhere, a paramedic team and 10 ambulances were dispatched to the Norwalk Meadows Nursing Center when the power failed and a backup generator could not meet patient oxygen needs, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said. Four patients were evacuated before power was restored.

The California Highway Patrol said Malibu Canyon Road was closed for a time due to a rockslide and a 125-foot tree was uprooted in Los Angeles. No one was injured.

Two more storms are expected to hit Northern California starting Tuesday.

Forecasters said the first one is expected to bring as much as 12 inches of snow to elevations above 6,000 feet in the northern Sierra Nevada. A second, slightly weaker storm is set to arrive on Thursday.

 

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