The Latest: $2 million in US funds for Northwest storm fix

AP News
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Posted: Dec 11, 2015 5:58 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The latest on stormy weather in California and the Pacific Northwest (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

The federal government will provide $2 million in aid to help repair damage from this week's potent storms in the Northwest.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said the federal government is making $1 million available to Oregon to help repair roads and bridges damaged by the torrential rains that flooded the state this week.

The Federal Highway Administration on Friday said it's also giving $1 million in emergency relief funds to Washington state, where flooding, landslides and erosion closed many roads.

The preliminary estimate of damage in Oregon, according to the federal government, is $15 million — including at least $5 million to state highways.

In Washington, preliminary damage estimates are pegged at $5 million.

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11:30 a.m.

Two surfers have been rescued from choppy waters in Ventura County, just up the coast from where huge waves from a large Pacific swell damaged a popular pier and inundated low-lying streets.

County fire Capt. Mike Lindbery says the man and woman in their 20s were unhurt after being plucked from the water at Mondos Beach.

The woman was rescued by a passerby. The man got stuck between breaking waves and onshore rocks and had to be pulled out by county rescue swimmers.

Lindbery says the beach often has a good surf break, but not Friday as the state feels the effects of a departing storm and another one approaches. The Southern California coast is under a high surf advisory through Sunday, with unpredictable waves topping 10 feet.

Temperatures are dropping across Los Angeles County as winds whip up.

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10:50 a.m.

California's Department of Water Resources says storms battering the state this week have been missing during the last four years of drought.

Spokesman Doug Carlson says California usually gets up to a dozen of these kinds of storms every winter, but the number has dropped to just a handful in recent years.

That's because a high pressure ridge off the West Coast for the last three or four years has blocked incoming moisture, sending badly needed rain to the Pacific Northwest or to Mexico, he says.

Carlson says the state will need many more of these storms to end the drought.

The weather system is labeled a Pineapple Express because it transports moisture from tropical waters.

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8:30 a.m.

Surging waves are inundating several low-lying streets along the Ventura County coast as a very large Pacific swell hits Southern California.

Rough seas overtopped the Ventura Pier and seawater streamed through residential neighborhoods Friday.

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory for many coastal areas through Sunday, with waves around 10 feet expected.

Temperatures were dropping across Los Angeles County as winds whip up. Gusts topping 45 mph are predicted for mountain and valley areas.

Motorists are urged to use caution on mountain roads, with snow expected as low as 4,000 feet.

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7:15 a.m.

The National Weather Service says the biggest storm of the season should quiet down in the Sierra Nevada before kicking back up Saturday.

Meteorologist Mike Smith in Sacramento, California, says Friday they are not expecting much more snow today after skiers received up to two feet in higher elevations.

He expects rain showers in the Sacramento valley Friday, but says it will be a dry day for the most part.

A storm in the Sierra Nevada Saturday and Sunday is expected to bring another two feet of snow.

A high surf warning remains in place in Northern California.

Some San Francisco residents experienced thunder and bouts of hard rain Thursday night.