LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE, Calif. — A powerful fall storm packing strong winds and rain eased Wednesday without causing the widespread mudslides and debris flows that California residents had feared.
The storm delivered its biggest punch to northern and central areas, knocking out power to nearly 700,000 utility customers from Bakersfield in the southern San Joaquin Valley to Eureka on the north coast.
A mandatory evacuation order remained in effect for residents of about 40 homes in central coast mountains near Watsonville, east of Monterey Bay, due to mudslides, said Chris Hirsch, a spokeswoman for Santa Cruz County emergency services.
A house in Corralitos was left surrounded by mud that buried cars up to their windows and a basketball hoop up to the net.
A dozen other homes were isolated because fallen trees and debris blocked roads.