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R.D. Hood (Dave)
Posted on Thursday, January 11, 2001 - 4:48 pm:   

Rain Storm Pummels California,
LOS ANGELES, Jan 11, 2001 (AP Online via COMTEX) -- A powerful storm
pummeled Southern California, leaving it awash in rain and darkened by power

The storm's hardest-hit areas Wednesday were in San Luis Obispo and Santa
Barbara counties, where violent surf pounded the shoreline. About 4 inches of
rain were reported in the city of Santa Barbara and 2.9 inches of rain fell in
Santa Margarita in San Luis Obispo County, according to the National Weather

Rain-slicked freeways made commuting miserable and slow. The California
Highway Patrol reported numerous fender-benders throughout the Los Angeles

Strong wind gusts toppled power lines. About 5,800 residents were without
electricity, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Outages were also reported in Santa Monica and Whittier, where more than
2,300 households temporarily lost power.

"We've had numerous trees topple onto homes and cars across the city," Los
Angeles fire spokesman Brian Humphrey said. "Fortunately, we haven't had any
reports of injuries."

Coastal residents braced for the brunt of the storm. Sandbags were installed
with the help of emergency crews to protect homes. No heavy flooding was

Meteorologists warned that surf as tall as 20 feet, along with high tides, could
signal danger on Thursday and Friday.

"You have to go back three years to the winter when El Nino hit to find a storm
of this magnitude," weather Service meteorologist Mark Moede said. "This is a
very powerful storm."

Farther north, some 240 tourists were stranded for more than three hours
Wednesday on Alcatraz Island, where a surge of waves mangled the dock and
gangplank that connects the former prison rock to visiting boats.

A choppy San Francisco Bay churned and tossed a gangplank from a tour boat
onto a floating dock around 11:30 a.m., said Rich Weideman, a spokesman for
the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

When the tide receded around 3 p.m., another boat managed to rig a temporary
gangplank and rescue the stranded tourists. No injuries were reported.

Copyright 2001 Associated Press, All rights reserved

CODE: 1110

DATE: 1/11/2001 6:00:00 AM
Source: AP Online

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