Scattered storms, lightning hit Southern California and prompt beach closures
SACRAMENTO (AP) — The rain and winds that lashed Southern California with gusts topping 50 mph (80 kph) sent a powerful, violent storm into the northern part of the state, where the skies turned to orange and skies turned red, and then white, with lightning.
The storm dumped about 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, leaving the mountains of the Sierra Nevada mountains dusted with white. In Southern California, the winds from the storm blew large tree branches over power lines and knocked down power lines, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
Los Angeles County firefighters use a ladder to keep a storm water rescue vehicle from the roof of a utility pole on Wednesday, April 10, 2011, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Flames were seen on Highway 105 near the Los Angeles International Airport in Santa Clarita, where a lightning strike left a roof and half wall burned over.
A Santa Barbara County fire truck is seen on fire at a structure in Ventura on Wednesday, April 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Storms hit Los Angeles and Ventura counties as the second day of the storm was under way. Forecasters predicted high winds, which knocked down trees and power lines and spread mudslides.
At the South Coast Air Quality Management District office in Pacific Park, water was leaking into the building at the edge of the parking lot during the afternoon hours of Wednesday. Officials said that the air quality in the area was improving, although people should avoid strenuous activities and keep windows closed.
As of 8:30 p.m. local time (3:30 a.m. EDT), the L.A. City Fire Department tweeted that the wind had blown away half the electrical lines from Pacific Park, about three miles away. The city said it closed Pacific Park, a 3-mile-long pier, in order to protect it from the storm.
In Oxnard, where a mudslide partially blocked the beach and an evacuation order was in effect, surf was seen on some parts of the north shore, but most residents were back at home by the time the storm hit.
“There are no reports of injured residents, damage to homes or other property,” the Ventura County