Energy & Environment

At least five dead, more than 80,000 without power amid latest California storms

Mario Tama/Getty Images
People view a hillside landslide brought on by heavy rains, which caused four ocean view apartment buildings to be evacuated and shuttered due to unstable conditions, on March 16, 2023 in San Clemente, California.

At least five people have died and more than 80,000 people are without power following the latest storms that have hit California. 

The New York Times reported that officials from various parts of the state have confirmed at least five people were killed amid the storm, which is just the latest in a series of systems that have battered the state with heavy rain and snow and strong, damaging winds. 

The Contra Costa Fire Protection District, which serves a county near San Francisco, tweeted on Tuesday that a large tree fell onto a car while it was driving on a street, killing a passenger while inflicting minor injuries to the driver. 

A spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol told the Times that another man died Tuesday after a tree fell on his car in San Mateo County, which is south of the city. 

The Times reported that two other people were killed and three others were injured from falling trees in the San Francisco area. 

A homeless man also reportedly died after a tree fell on his tent at Lake Merritt. 

More than 80,000 customers do not have power following the storm, as of Wednesday evening, according to the power-tracking website A plurality of the outages is occurring in Alameda and San Mateo counties. 

Two tornadoes have been confirmed in the Los Angeles area coming from the storm in the past two days. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) reported that a weak, narrow tornado briefly touched down in a mobile home park in the town of Carpinteria on Tuesday evening. 

The tornado had an estimated maximum wind speed of 75 miles per hour and damaged about 25 mobile homes. It also caused minor tree damage in the cemetery across from the mobile home park. 

The NWS said a tornado also touched down in the town of Montebello on Wednesday morning. The agency has not yet given a rating of the tornado’s power as it is still reviewing the damage it caused. 

ABC’s Los Angeles affiliate ABC7 reported that the second tornado injured at least one person and tore roofs off of multiple buildings. The outlet obtained some footage of the cyclone.

The series of storms have for months caused multiple deaths and damaged properties while stranding some at their homes. But they have majorly helped the state with its water issues, as almost two-thirds of California was no longer in a drought as a result of the precipitation as of last week.

Tags California Highway Patrol National Weather Service power outage tornadoes

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