Strongest storm in years batters California

A Pacific storm pummeled drought-parched northern and central California on Thursday with heavy rain and high winds, knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes, disrupting flights, washing out roads and prompting school closures in the Bay Area. Strong winds felled a tree in Oregon, killing a homeless man who was sleeping on a trail. A huge gust blew down an 80-foot fir at a Santa Cruz elementary school, pinning a 6th grader by the arm for 15 minutes until chain saws cut him free. About 150,000 people were left struggling for power.

It’s clearly the strongest storm to impact the West Coast in the last three years.

Todd Morris, a spokesman for the National Weather Service

Blowing in from the northern Pacific, the unusually strong storm was expected to move south, reaching Los Angeles and San Diego from Thursday evening. In the suburbs of Los Angeles parking restrictions were imposed in areas vulnerable to mudslides, although the storm had not reached LA by late afternoon. Schools were closed in San Francisco, Oakland and Marin County and elsewhere in northern California, while local media reported that San Francisco’s scenic Great Highway had been closed as a precaution. The National Weather Service said a flashflood warning would remain in effect all day Thursday, and cautioned motorists that “driving conditions may be very poor.”

I know it’s a big storm supposedly, but they’re treating it like it’s a hurricane.

Resident Malcolm Oubre, who said some people were overreacting