The Latest: State of emergency declared for 50 counties

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Posted: Jan 24, 2017 12:24 AM
The Latest: State of emergency declared for 50 counties

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on winter storms in California (all times local):

9:20 p.m.

Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for 50 California counties that were drenched by winter storms.

Monday's two proclamations cover counties up and down the state that were hit with flooding, mudslides, erosion and damage to roads and highways from December and January storms.

Brown says "conditions of extreme peril" exist in the counties because of damage estimated in the tens of millions of dollars.

The declarations direct Caltrans to ask for immediate assistance through the Federal Highway Administration's Emergency Relief Program. Brown also directs the state Office of Emergency Services to provide assistance to local governments.

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3:20 p.m.

A body has been found as stormwater recedes in the Harbor City area of Los Angeles.

Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey says the body spotted Monday in dense vegetation may be that of a man who was reported missing Sunday night.

Firefighters had searched the area for four hours without locating the man.

The area is a regional park with a 45-acre lake that receives runoff from a storm channel.

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2:35 p.m.

Rain and mud left behind by a weekend storm has forced the closure of several roads in Death Valley National Park and resulted in a power outage at a Park Service headquarters in southeastern California, about 150 miles west of Las Vegas.

Park Service spokeswoman Abby Wines said Monday that workers have been dealing with a power failure since Sunday, hampering their ability to use the internet and respond to visitor questions.

The park's hotels and major attractions are still open, with power. Major park thoroughfares also remain open.

Wines says the normally dry Amargosa River was flowing Monday across two roads.

She says Saline Valley's south pass just outside the park's western boundary is currently blocked by a vehicle stuck in a 3-foot snow drift. Three roads are closed due to mud inside the park that sits in the Mojave Desert.

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11:45 a.m.

The last in a trio of storms is taking parting shots at California after a weekend deluge.

Snow falling Monday at elevations of just a few thousand feet has dusted the rural communities of Acton and Agua Dulce north of Los Angeles.

To the east, heavy snow has closed or forced chain restrictions on mountain roads, and many schools are closed in the inland region of Southern California.

In Northern California, a search has resumed for an 18-year-old woman whose car plunged into a rushing creek after a collision southeast of San Francisco on Saturday.

Bad weather hampered efforts Sunday.

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9:50 a.m.

Heavy snow at Lake Tahoe triggered an avalanche that shut down a California state highway and caused a roof to collapse at a liquor store in South Lake Tahoe.

The California Highway Patrol says two cars were briefly trapped but no one was injured when an avalanche covered a 200-foot stretch of Highway 89 with up to 12 feet of snow shortly after 1 a.m. Monday between the Squaw Valley ski resort and Tahoe City, California.

At South Lake Tahoe, Fire Chief Jeff Meston says the roof collapsed and broke a sprinkler pipe at a liquor store at about 2:45 a.m.

No one was hurt. But Meston told Lake Tahoe News there was a "ton of water on the street" when crews arrived. He says local utility workers had to dig through more than a foot of snow to find the main shut-off valve.

Animals at a nearby pet hospital have been evacuated while officials inspect neighboring businesses.

The National Weather Service reports that 30 inches of snow fell at the Heavenly ski resort at South Lake Tahoe between 6 a.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday. More than 7 feet has fallen there over the past five days.

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8:25 a.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it suspended a search for two people who went missing in the water near a beach on the Monterey Peninsula south of San Francisco.

The Coast Guard suspended the search off Pebble Beach about 5:30 p.m. Saturday after the two went missing earlier in the day. Their bodies have not been recovered and their names were not released.

Crews in a boat and in a helicopter searched for the pair after a caller at about 10 a.m. call told authorities that two people were in the water 75 feet from the beach.

The search was called off because of bad weather and unsafe search conditions.

Authorities rescued a 26-year-old man from rocks near the beach.

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6:55 a.m.

The search for a missing 18-year-old woman whose car plunged into a rushing California creek southeast of San Francisco is set to resume.

KNTV reports (http://bit.ly/2jQu7vf) the woman's vehicle collided with another car and went off the roadway and into Alameda Creek near the city of Fremont on Saturday.

The woman's name was not released.

Alameda County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly says the massive weekend storms hampered recovery efforts.

Authorities are trying to reduce the water volume in the creek.

The San Francisco Bay Area is under a flash flood watch that continues through.

The National Weather Service reports that San Francisco is experiencing the sixth-wettest January on record to date. Forecaster Brian Mejia says rain totals in the Bay Area over the last 48 hours ranged between half an inch and 3 inches.

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6 a.m.

The tail end of a punishing winter storm is lashing California with thunderstorms and severe winds after breaking rainfall records, washing out roads and whipping up enormous waves over the weekend.

A thunderstorm brought ashore hail early Monday northwest of Los Angeles in Santa Barbara County, where a tornado warning was briefly issued. No tornadoes were reported but wind gusts topped 60 mph.

Flood watches and warnings remained in place Monday for much of Southern California, a day after nearly 4 inches of rain fell south of Los Angeles, flooding roads and freeways, toppling trees and raising concerns about damaging mudslides.

The rain is expected to ease slightly but not taper off until Tuesday.

Motorists were urged to use caution on mountain passes where heavy snow is falling.

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AP Reno correspondent Scott Sonner contributed to this report.