Deadly California weather leaves 150,000 without power

Story highlights

  • A driver was killed when an 80-foot tree fell on a car
  • Hundreds of work crews are trying to restore power to more than 150,000 people
  • Parts of Los Angeles County will get walloped with several inches of snow

(CNN)Ferocious wind and intense rain have pummeled Southern California, leaving one driver dead and more than 150,000 in the dark.

Massive trees snapped like toothpicks, causing damage from San Diego to north of Los Angeles.
In San Diego, an 80-foot-tall tree fell on a car Sunday, killing the driver, Fire-Rescue Capt. Joe Amador said.
Across Southern California, hundreds of work crews scrambled to try to restore power to more than 150,000 people who lost electricity in the storm.
An 80-foot-tall tree fell on a car in San Diego, killing the driver.
And there's more fierce weather to come. Powerful winds from 25 to 40 mph will gust up to 60 mph Monday from the mountains of Los Angeles to San Diego, CNN meteorologist Rachel Aissen said.
Once again, blame El Niño. Low pressure systems off the Pacific coast that are traveling into the mountains and the central plains are from the El Niño that the country has already experienced this winter season.
That will mean not only more hurricane-force winds, but snow in higher elevations of California.
Parts of Los Angeles County over 3,000 feet in elevation could get 2 to 4 inches of snow Monday, Aissen said. Areas with even higher elevations -- over 4,000 feet -- could see more than 6 inches of snow.
The utility company Southern California Edison has sent 200 crews to help 80,000 customers without power. It gave several tips for dealing with power outages and protecting against power surges:
• Always back up important work and files on computers.
• Keep gas tanks at least half full, as gas stations need electricity to pump gas.
• Install surge protectors to safeguard valuable electronics.

Ice dam causes flooding

The intense weather wasn't limited to Southern California.
In the northeast part of the state, ice dams formed on the South Fork of the Yuba River, CNN affiliate KCRA reported.
Ice dam flooding shuts down California community
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The frozen blockades -- and a recent onslaught of rain -- caused a backlog of water, flooding parts of Soda Springs, the affiliate said.
"We can blame it on El Niño," Vic Ferrera of the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services told KCRA.
By Sunday night, the affiliate said, crews had managed to break through an ice dam, allowing some of the water to subside.