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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Southern California Braces For More Rain, Flooding, Possible Tornadoes

Pedestrians walk through rising water as they catch a city  bus in  Los Angeles. (AP)

Pedestrians walk through rising water as they catch a city bus in Los Angeles. (AP)

After seven days of rain, Southern California is bracing for the most intense storm system yet, with evacuations ordered, roads covered by water and mud, and residents anxiously eyeing already-saturated mountainsides, denuded by wildfires.

Forecasters expect heavy rain to move into Arizona, Utah, and Nevada, but the focus is on Southern California, where a monster storm is expected to bring torrential rain, thunderstorms, flooding, hail, and possible tornadoes and water spouts.

Downtown Laguna Beach was closed as up to half a foot of storm runoff flooded the streets, and mudslides were reported in the San Clemente hills. Capt. Greg McKeown of the Orange County Fire Department tells us how firefighters helped residents flee their homes in Silverado Canyon near the Cleveland National Forest after boulders and mud blocked off the area.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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