Intense storm hits California, at least 6 fatalities, 280 000 customers without power

Intense storm hits California, at least 6 fatalities, 280 000 customers without power

A powerful storm has swept over parts of the West Coast U.S. this week, wreaking havoc across California on January 16 and 17, 2019. At least 6 fatalities have been reported.

The storm downed trees and power lines all around Northern California, causing evacuations across fire-stricken areas, land and air traffic chaos and leaving nearly 300 000 customers without power.

It dumped as much as 250 mm (10 inches) of rain in parts of Southern California and between 76 -  150 mm (3 - 6 inches) in Los Angeles.

Blizzard conditions blanketed the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada, prompting a blizzard warning for much of the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe on Wednesday night, January 16, AccuWeather reports.

Winds gusted up to 263 km/h (164 mph) at the summit of Mammoth Mountain, California, on Thursday morning, according to AccuWeather Extreme Meteorologist Reed Timmer. Winds this strong are comparable to that found in a major hurricane.

Peak wind gusts:

NOUS46 KLOX 172328 PNSLOX CAZ034>041-044>046-051>054-059-087-088-547>550-181119- Public Information Statement National Weather Service Los Angeles/Oxnard CA 319 PM PST Thu Jan 17 2019 ...PEAK WIND GUSTS FOR THE PAST 24 HOURS... Location Speed Time/Date Elevation (ft.) ...Ventura County Mountains... Rose Valley ALERT 62 MPH 1115 AM 01/17 3400 Sycamore Canyon 45 MPH 1215 AM 01/17 4841 ...Ventura County Coastal Valleys... South Mountain 41 MPH 0430 AM 01/17 1980 ...Ventura County Coast... South Mtn West - Alert #2650 64 MPH 0545 AM 01/17 660 ...Santa Ynez Valley... Foxen Canyon 38 MPH 0240 PM 01/16 970 ...Santa Monica Mountains Recreational Area... Saddle Peak 52 MPH 0439 AM 01/17 2450 Topanga 35 MPH 0357 AM 01/17 1600 ...Santa Cruz and Anacapa Islands... Santa Cruz Island Central 39 MPH 0705 AM 01/17 75 ...Santa Clarita Valley... Golden Valley HS 38 MPH 0420 AM 01/17 1875 Saugus 35 MPH 0257 AM 01/17 1450 ...Santa Barbara County South Coast... Gaviota Hills RAWS 41 MPH 0809 PM 01/16 877 Refugio Hills 37 MPH 0706 AM 01/17 1464 ...Santa Barbara County Mountains... Santa Barbara Portrero 66 MPH 0816 PM 01/16 5300 Tepusquet 52 MPH 0306 AM 01/17 3200 San Marcos Rd 38 MPH 0600 AM 01/17 3510 ...Santa Barbara County Central Coast... Lompoc Hills 47 MPH 0237 AM 01/17 1528 Vandenberg Hills 42 MPH 0222 AM 01/17 1017 Point Arguello Cman 39 MPH 0200 PM 01/16 105 Vandenberg AFB 38 MPH 0211 AM 01/17 369 Pt. Conception Lighthouse 38 MPH 0156 AM 01/17 24 Hills above Harris Canyon 37 MPH 0220 AM 01/17 834 Santa Maria Apt. 35 MPH 0251 PM 01/16 242 ...San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands... Santa Rosa Island 55 MPH 0513 AM 01/17 1284 ...San Luis Obispo County Mountains... Branch Mtn RAWS 53 MPH 0135 AM 01/17 3770 Carrizo RAWS 49 MPH 0900 PM 01/16 2490 McNeil Spring 36 MPH 1230 AM 01/17 984 ...San Luis Obispo County Interior Valleys... Cholame 52 MPH 0220 AM 01/17 2035 5 ENE Santa Margarita 52 MPH 1250 AM 01/17 1645 El Monte Rd 51 MPH 1110 PM 01/16 1910 South El Pomar Rd 46 MPH 0200 AM 01/17 1311 Lake Nacimiento-Interlake Rd 46 MPH 1110 PM 01/16 1372 Misty Canyon 45 MPH 1200 AM 01/17 1410 South Atascadero 43 MPH 1254 AM 01/17 997 Paso Robles Apt 37 MPH 0802 PM 01/16 810 La Panza 36 MPH 1254 AM 01/17 1633 ...San Luis Obispo County Central Coast... Cuesta Ridge-TV Towers 69 MPH 1250 AM 01/17 3579 Camino Del Capitan 62 MPH 1120 PM 01/16 1842 Avila Beach, Cal Poly Pier 45 MPH 1152 PM 01/16 0 Port San Luis Nos 44 MPH 1236 AM 01/17 523 Toro Creek 42 MPH 0200 AM 01/17 1203 Chorro-Cheda Ranch 42 MPH 0114 AM 01/17 380 San Luis Obispo Coast 41 MPH 1133 PM 01/16 228 Highland 41 MPH 1250 AM 01/17 820 San Luis Obispo Apt. 41 MPH 1243 AM 01/17 194 Lake Lopez Marina 40 MPH 0253 AM 01/17 20 ...Los Angeles County Mountains excluding the Santa Monica Range... Sierra Pelona 68 MPH 0110 AM 01/17 5182 Grass Mountain 62 MPH 1059 PM 01/16 4626 Mill Creek 53 MPH 0653 AM 01/17 5021 Sandberg 52 MPH 1126 PM 01/16 4510 Oat Mountain 49 MPH 0330 AM 01/17 3450 Chilao RAWS 47 MPH 0653 AM 01/17 5450 Hiatt Canyon 46 MPH 0400 AM 01/17 3004 Camp Nine 45 MPH 0455 AM 01/17 4000 Beartrap Canyon 39 MPH 0900 AM 01/17 3508 Whitaker Peak 38 MPH 0357 AM 01/17 4120 Acton 36 MPH 0454 AM 01/17 2600 Clear Creek 36 MPH 0754 PM 01/16 3000 ...Los Angeles County Coast including Downtown Los Angeles... Point Vicente 39 MPH 1149 PM 01/16 0 ...Catalina and Santa Barbara Islands... Catalina RAWS 41 MPH 1122 AM 01/17 1407 Catalina Apt. 37 MPH 0925 AM 01/17 1602 ...Antelope Valley... Lake Palmdale 56 MPH 0155 AM 01/17 2980 Leona Valley 55 MPH 0100 AM 01/17 3720 Elizabeth Lake 44 MPH 1136 PM 01/16 3445 Leona Valley (95th St W) 38 MPH 1245 AM 01/17 3600 Palmdale Apt. 37 MPH 0246 AM 01/17 2543 Poppy Park 36 MPH 0156 AM 01/17 2759 Observations are collected from a variety of sources with varying equipment and exposures. We thank all volunteer weather observers for their dedication. Not all data listed are considered official. $$ Stewart

PG&E said 280 000 customers lost power at some point since Wednesday and 26 432 customers remained without power Thursday afternoon, January 17. 15 000 were still without power early Friday morning.

At least 6 people were killed this week, including 4 who died on rain-slickened roads in Northern California and one homeless man who died in Oakland after a branch of a falling tree hit him, the Associated Press reports.

The storm has also put a dent in California's severe drought situation, leaving only 6% of it in severe or extreme drought, compared to 25% in September 2018.

Read more

Major winter storm to impact the Central and Eastern U.S. through this weekend

Featured image credit: Caltrans District 7

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