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WORLD NEWS | Thousands still without power as snow falls in Los Angeles area

WORLD NEWS | Thousands still without power as snow falls in Los Angeles area

The LATAM Airlines plane hit the vehicle on the runway (Image: Twitter / @AirCrash_)

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 26 (AP) — A powerful winter storm that tore through the West Coast, bringing flooding and frigid temperatures, shifted its focus to southern California Saturday, sending rivers swollen to dangerous levels even around Los Angeles snowfall in low-lying areas.

The National Weather Service said it was one of the strongest storms ever to hit southwestern California, and even as wind and rain fell, it continued to have a significant impact, including snowfall to elevations as low as 1,000 feet (305 meters). The hills around the Santa Clarita suburb north of Los Angeles were covered in white, and the inland suburbs to the east also saw snowfall.

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Snowstorm warnings continued over the mountains and flood warnings blanketed the region, but forecasters breathed a sigh of relief, predicting the storm would weaken later in the day.

More than 120,000 California utility customers are still without power after days of high winds, downed trees and downed power lines, PowerOutage.us reported. Interstate 5, the main north-south highway on the West Coast, remains closed due to heavy snow and ice passing through Tejon Pass in the mountains north of Los Angeles.

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As of Saturday morning, the multi-day precipitation totals included a staggering 81 inches (205 centimeters) at the San Gabriel Mountains alpine resort northeast of Los Angeles and a whopping 64 inches (160 centimeters) in the San Bernardino Snow Valley farther east. ) mountains.

“There have been reports of 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 centimeters) of snowfall on some of the higher peaks, and we’re looking at additional snowfall, maybe two feet, for the rest of the day,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Dr. g taylor.

The Los Angeles River and other waterways that typically flow at a trickle or dry up for most of the year were ravaged by runoff Saturday. The Los Angeles Fire Department used helicopters to rescue four homeless people who were stranded in the river’s main flood protection basin. Two people were taken to the hospital with hypothermia, spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

In the Valencia area of ​​northern Los Angeles County, the raging Santa Clara River washed away three RVs early Saturday after rushing into the embankment where the RV park sits. No one was injured, but one resident described the scene as devastating, KCLA-TV reported.

Meanwhile, people farther east were grappling with the fallout from the storm earlier this week.

More than 350,000 customers in Michigan were without power as of early Saturday afternoon, according to reports from the state’s two major utilities, DTE and Consumers Energy. Both companies said they hoped to turn the lights back on for most customers by Sunday night.

Brian Wheeler, a spokesman for Consumers Energy, said half an inch (1.27 centimeters) of ice had crushed some of the wires — about the weight of a baby grand piano.

“People are not only angry, but they’re struggling,” said Em Perry, director of environmental justice at Michigan United, which advocates for economic and racial justice. “People huddled under blankets to keep warm.”

The group will ask utilities to reimburse residents for buying generators or replacing spoiled groceries, she said.

In Kalamazoo, Mich., Allison Rinker used a borrowed generator to keep her 150-year-old house warm Saturday after two nights in the cold and darkness.

“We all survived, but were depressed the next day,” she said. “Once the heat comes back, we’ll be able to turn on a light or two, and it’s like a complete change in attitude.”

Rinker, 27, compared the tree damage to that of a tornado after driving to a relative’s house to store food.

“The ice that fell from the trees when it melted was hitting our windshield so hard I was worried it would crack,” she said.

“Twigs everywhere, half the trees are down. The destruction is insane.”

Back in California, the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center is predicting heavy snowfall in the Cascades and Sierra Nevada throughout the weekend.

The low-pressure system is also expected to bring widespread rain and snow across southern Nevada by Saturday afternoon and across northwestern Arizona Saturday night and Sunday morning, the National Weather Service office in Las Vegas said.

An avalanche warning was issued for the remote Sierra Nevada surrounding Lake Tahoe, which straddles the California-Nevada border. Nearly 2 feet (61 centimeters) of new snow fell as of Friday, with another 5 feet (1.5 meters) expected when another storm moves into Sunday that could bring strong winds and high-intensity light snow, the weather service said .

In Arizona, the heaviest snowfall is expected Saturday night through Sunday noon, with up to a foot of new snow possible in Flagstaff, forecasters said.

Parts of the northern Midwest to the Northeast are also expected to experience snow over the weekend, with freezing rain expected in some parts of the central Appalachians. The storm is expected to reach the central plateau by Sunday night.

At least three people were killed in the coast-to-coast storm. A Michigan firefighter died Wednesday after coming into contact with a downed power line, while in Rochester, Minnesota, a pedestrian died after being hit by a city-operated snowplow. Authorities in Portland, Ore., said one person died of hypothermia.

Much of Portland was closed due to icy roads after the city’s second-heaviest snowfall on record this week: nearly 11 inches (28 centimeters). Despite clear skies and temperatures approaching 40 degrees in the city Saturday afternoon, the reprieve and thaw were short-lived. More snow is expected overnight and on Sunday. (Associated Press)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the body of content may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)

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