Late El Niño rains hit California, down trees and cut power

Story highlights

  • Heavy rains hit drought-ridden California late this year,
  • Four people are rescued from Los Angeles River
  • El Niño pattern not following usual path this year

(CNN)Heavy rains, snow and blustery winds have been moving through California since Saturday, causing downed trees, flooding, car accidents and power outages -- and more rain is expected throughout the week.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said four people had to be rescued from the swollen Los Angeles River on Sunday morning. Crews cleared homeless encampments in parts of the Sepulveda Basin as more rain is expected Sunday, according to CNN affiliate KTLA.
    The storms brought over 8 inches of rain to Northern California and covered the Sierra Nevada with snow. Power outages were reported in the San Francisco Bay Area.
    "We have quite a bit of damage, lots of power lines down, mudslides and trees down in various areas," said Sgt. Stefan Fish with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office.
    These rains are hitting California late this year.
    "El Niño weather patterns favor storm tracks that move Pacific moisture into California during the winter months," said CNN meteorologist Michael Guy. "However, not all El Niño events act the same, and this is the case for this winter."
    The heavy rains are expected to taper off in the Southern California by Tuesday, but Northern California will get more rain starting Wednesday and it's expected to last through the weekend, Guy said.
    "This may not be a drought buster, but it certainly helps," Guy said.
    April is historically the start of the dry season in California.