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Fire-scarred California areas escape large-scale rain damage

November 30, 2018
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A scoop clears debris from a mudslide that partially blocked Honey Run Road, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, near Chico, Calif. Flash flooding hit Chico and nearby wildfire-scarred Paradise, forcing officials to deploy swift water rescue teams to save people stuck in vehicles and rescue them from homes. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A major storm brought localized mudslides and street flooding to California and some people had to be rescued from stranded vehicles, but fire-scarred areas escaped large-scale damage.

Water from flash floods receded in Northern California and crews on Friday cleared debris from roads, culverts and levees that flooded in Chico, said Butte County spokeswoman Kelly Hubbard.

Debris flowed downhill from Paradise, a town destroyed by a wildfire three weeks ago, to Chico during a downpour Thursday that dumped 1½ inches (3.8 centimeters) of rain in an hour, the National Weather Service said.

The heavy rain inundated roads, trapping people in about 100 vehicles and forcing some mandatory evacuations in Chico, a city of 90,000 where many of the fire evacuees from Paradise are staying.

All roads that were closed during the emergency were opened by Friday, and the Butte County Sheriff’s Office said mandatory evacuations for homes in low-lying areas had been reduced to evacuation warnings.

Light showers are forecast for later Friday in the Sierra Nevada, where snow is expected in lower elevations, according to the weather service, which issued a winter storm warning for the Sierra that will go into effect Friday night through Saturday morning.

First responders from the Los Angeles Fire Department lifted a man from a rain-swollen river to the safety of their helicopter on Thursday. The man was taken to a local hospital conscious and suffering from hypothermia, fire officials said. (Nov. 29)

All evacuation orders were lifted for residents near a Southern California wildfire burn scar.

Authorities in Orange and Riverside counties removed the restrictions Friday morning as fair weather returned following a storm that brought heavy rains to a mountainous area burned earlier this year.

Elsewhere in the region, the city of Malibu reports that all but one of the streets hit by a mudslide Thursday have been reopened.

The National Weather Service says Southern California has a chance of rain Saturday from a weaker system, and another storm is forecast to affect the region Wednesday and Thursday.

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