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Storm Pounds Southern California

February 11, 2005

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Heavy rain and winds gusting up to nearly 70 mph battered Southern California on Friday, triggering dozens of wrecks. At least two people died.

The storm system that moved into the area late Thursday was expected to bring up to 2 inches of rain across much of the region and more than 4 inches in some mountain areas. Wind gusts up to 69 mph were recorded.

The California Highway Patrol said 380 accidents were reported in the area between midnight and 9 a.m. Friday, compared to 104 during the same period the previous Friday.

A 26-year-old patient died when a van used to transport people with disabilities rolled over on a freeway; another person died in a wreck in Glendale.

Crews made a helicopter rescue in Santa Clarita when a trucker lost control of his big-rig on a highway and landed in a rain-swollen creek. The driver was airlifted to a hospital after spending about two hours on top of his truck.

It was the region’s first significant rainfall since five days of torrential storms last month killed at least 28 people.

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