Saturated slopes worry California cities as storm threat lingers; rain, snow moving eastward

The Associated Press

Trash collects along the shore after after a rainstorm in Long Beach, Calif. on Saturday, March 1, 2014. Evacuation orders remained in effect for hundreds of homes in Los Angeles County foothill communities where fires have burned away vegetation that holds soil in place, and bursts of rain caused the mountains to belch occasional debris flows. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

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Other trouble spots included about 13 homes that were evacuated Friday night in the Lake Hughes area in northern Los Angeles County after a mudslide closed a major road. To the east in San Bernardino County, a levee failed and put eight houses in danger of serious flooding, but county fire crews were working to protect them and no evacuations were ordered.

In Santa Barbara County, strong waves sent water crashing into a beachside restaurant in Goleta and three boats onto the sand and a pier, county fire Capt. Martin Johnson said. The restaurant's manager told KEYT-TV that one of his employees was swept out into the ocean and underneath the pier, where he was able to get out of the water. Another employee was pushed back inside the restaurant by a rogue wave but was not seriously hurt.

At the north end of Monterey Bay, strong waves apparently broke through the foundation of a seaside home, creating a blowhole on the driveway and shooting water over the roof. Also, a stretch of the oceanfront drive in Santa Cruz was shut down Saturday after a large sinkhole appeared in a cliff, opening the roof of a cave where homeless people have lived. Authorities said public works was investigating.

The storm was so volatile that a tornado warning was issued early Saturday for suburbs east of Los Angeles.

Numerous traffic accidents occurred on slick or flooded roads across California, including one about 60 miles east of Los Angeles involving a big rig whose driver died after falling from a freeway overpass. The Fresno County sheriff's office also reported a man was injured by lightning Friday.

Utilities were working to repair numerous scattered power outages.

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Associated Press writer Garance Burke contributed to this report from San Francisco. Martha Mendoza reported from Santa Cruz. Tami Abdollah reported from Los Angeles.

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