Biggest storm yet heads for Calif; homes evacuated

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Southern California is awaiting the most intense storm system yet after days of relentless rain.

Evacuations have been ordered, rescue crews are on standby and residents are anxiously eying already saturated mountainsides denuded by wildfires.

Forecasters expect more rain across the state Wednesday. But the focus is clearly on Southern California where a monster storm is expected to bring torrential rain, thunderstorms, flooding, hail and possible tornadoes and water spouts. Forecasters warn of possible rainfall rates up to 1 inch an hour and thunderstorm rates of 2 inches an hour in the region.

Officials Tuesday ordered evacuation of homes in two foothill suburbs of Los Angeles below steep hillsides that burned in 2009 and where mudslides inundated homes and backyards in February.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in six counties.

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