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Mudslides damage 40 Los Angeles home
Thunderous mudslides damaged dozens of homes, swept away cars and pushed furniture into the streets of foothills north of Los Angeles as intense winter rain poured down mountains denuded by a summer wildfire
No injuries were reported but residents and emergency services were caught off guard by the unpredicted ferocity of the storm, which damaged more than 40 homes and dozens of vehicles. About 800 homes across Los Angeles County were evacuated for much of the day after heavy rains at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains overflowed basins, carried away cement barricades and filled houses with mud and rocks.
Residents of all but about 70 of the homes were allowed to return home under clear skies last night as another round of rains proved tame and moved on quickly.
Los Angeles County Fire Chief Michael Freeman said by the time officials saw how serious the storm was, it was too late to order evacuations and it was safer for people to shelter in their homes. Rainfall totals topped 4in in a 24-hour period in some areas, said the National Weather Service.
Twelve homes had major damage, 31 others received minor or moderate damage and 25 cars were damaged. Nine homes were declared uninhabitable.
At least three fatalities were reported after vehicles hydroplaned and crashed on Los Angeles County freeways. Water almost a foot deep flowed into businesses on Melrose Avenue.