The Latest: 1 fatally struck by falling tree in California

AP News
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Posted: Jan 31, 2016 10:04 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on a wet winter storm hitting Southern California (all times local):

4 p.m.

Authorities say a motorist was fatally struck by a large oak tree that fell onto a moving car in Southern California.

San Diego Fire and Rescue Capt. Joe Amador said the woman was discovered dead Sunday afternoon as firefighters responded to calls about a tree falling onto four vehicles and blocking all lanes of a street in Pacific Beach. Three of the vehicles were unoccupied, and the victim was passing by when her vehicle was struck by the tree.

Powerful winds have downed dozens of trees and power poles and blown away rooftops as a winter storm moves across California. A witness told KABC-TV the winds ripped off the solar panels on his neighbor's roof in Rancho Palos Verdes, a coastal community south of Los Angeles.

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11:30 a.m.

Firefighters have rescued a man trapped by the fast-rising Los Angeles River as a winter storm brings heavy rain, gusty winds and mountain snow.

City fire spokesman Brian Humphrey says crews pulled the man to safety as the waters raged late Sunday morning. He was being evaluated by paramedics. The riverbank east of downtown is known for its homeless encampments.

By midmorning three-quarters of an inch of rain had fallen near Mount Wilson, and nearly a half inch was measured west of Malibu.

To the north, a crash involving two big-rigs closed southbound lanes of Interstate 5 near the Grapevine. Motorists are warned to use caution on mountain roads, where snowfall above 5,500 feet could create white-out conditions.

The storm is also churning up high surf along west and northwest-facing beaches.

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9 a.m.

Light rain is falling across Southern California, the first sign of a storm system predicted to bring downpours, heavy winds and snow to the mountains.

The National Weather Service several inches of rain could fall in some areas of greater Los Angeles as the storm gains strength Sunday. A flash flood watch has been issued for foothill neighborhoods underneath wildfire burn areas.

Forecasters warn of winds gusting as high as 60 mph in mountain areas, where snow could fall above 5,500 feet. Motorists are urged to use caution on mountain roads, including along Interstate 5 near the Grapevine due to possible icy conditions.

The storm is also expected to create high surf along west and northwest-facing beaches and choppy seas.