The storm is sweeping the entire state, flooding streets in the desert town of Bakersfield, dumping nine feet of snow on Mammoth Mountain, and clapping Cape Mendocino with thunder. About 2,000 people in the farm town of McFarland, in the Central Valley, were ordered evacuated because of flooding. But the situation is worst northeast of Los Angeles, in the areas of La Canada and Flintridge, which in October 2009 saw some parts of the San Gabriel Mountains denuded by the worst wildfires in local history. The National Weather Service (NWS) says all the precipitation is the result of a northern cold front moving south from Washington State and colliding with a mammoth bank of subtropical moisture that has been parked off the Pacific coast for several days.
NWS predictions are for another five inches of rain in coastal plains and valleys by the end of Wednesday, with as many as 10 inches in the mountains, according to meteorologist Jamie Meyer.
Warnings of flash floods and mudslides are in place for several communities, and traffic has been barricaded from traveling parts of the Pacific Coast Highway between Malibu and Ventura because of boulder landslides that have blocked lanes of traffic.