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Major storm slams California, triggering landslides

Randy Mancini 175 Jan 27

Search and rescue teams are on high alert after a major storm in California triggered devastating landslides, slamming through a neighborhood south of San Francisco.

In Monterey County, two dozen structures were damaged and residents were suddenly trapped by a mudslide. At least two people were taken to the hospital and dozens of animals were rescued.

About 17 million people are under flash flood watches after California was hit by powerful winds, torrential rain and packed snow. Statewide, nearly 300,000 people are still without power.

Parts of the Sierra Nevada mountains could see up to 10 feet of snow. In the Santa Cruz mountains, thousands have been evacuated due to the threat of mudslides.

"I've been here for 15 years and this is the worst it's been. Ever," said Bonny Doon resident Maureen Huber.

Rescue teams have cleared some of the mud, but the fire chief said that about 70% of the people in the danger zone are refusing to evacuate.

An atmospheric river is driving the nasty weather. It's a concentrated ribbon of moisture that can move water vapor faster than the Mississippi River.

Southern California is now bracing for stormy conditions headed its way. A busy stretch of Interstate 5 was shutdown and traffic diverted due to dangerous road conditions. Eleven people were rescued after being stranded for 10 hours on a remote icy road.

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