Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 30° Cloudy
News >  Nation/World

California recovers as major storm heads east

Homes in Camarillo Springs that were severely damaged by the storm left rocks piled up to rooftops on Saturday. (Associated Press)
Homes in Camarillo Springs that were severely damaged by the storm left rocks piled up to rooftops on Saturday. (Associated Press)
Associated Press

CAMARILLO, Calif. – Californians cleaned up Saturday from a major storm that soaked the drought-stricken state before moving east to drop rain on the Southwest.

Perhaps the biggest job was in Camarillo, about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, where a Friday mudslide besieged houses, making 13 uninhabitable. The debris flowed down a hillside burned by wildfire last year.

“It’s quite an earth-moving operation,” said Elton Gallegly, whose wife’s family owns one of the damaged homes and who stopped by Saturday to check on progress.

Gallegly, a former congressman, said work crews using a huge backhoe and several other vehicles told him they hoped to clear the road in front of the houses by dark. Though he was impressed by the “incredible progress,” he thought that timeline was ambitious – and it still wouldn’t mean the removal of tons of muck surrounding the homes.

Cleanup also was underway in South Los Angeles, where a small – and rare – tornado briefly touched down, ripping parts off several roofs and knocking down trees.

The cleanup came as more rain was forecast for coming days, though the National Weather Service said that precipitation shouldn’t cause the same amount of damage as the recent storm. All of which would be good news in a state where three years of drought means every inch of rain helps.

Weather experts say many more storms are needed to pull the state out of its current water crisis.

On Saturday, utility crews restored power to nearly everyone who lost it, though roads including a stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County remained closed. In mountains east of Los Angeles, ski resorts welcomed up to a foot of fresh snow.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.