More than 20 people were left homeless on Friday after a flood in California swept cabins and vehicles in a coastal canyon as the second of three storms soaked the state with heavy rain and threw more snow into the mountains.
The dramatic scene about 185 kilometers (115 miles) northwest of Los Angeles occurred during a day of incessant rainfall in southern California that caused flooding, rockfall and forcing officials to issue an avalanche alert.
Several trees have fallen, vehicles were stranded in the middle of the water and five homeless people were rescued by helicopter when their camp was flooded.
The storm altered the first post-presidential vacation of Barack Obama and his family. His plane had to be diverted from Palm Springs Airport to an Air Force Base 96.5 kilometers (60 miles) away.
After years of drought, California has been hit by rain and snow this winter. The north part of the state has been most affected.
Another storm is expected for the weekend and its forecast could be worse than the previous two.
Authorities have issued a flood alert for the San Francisco area starting Saturday.
Friday’s storm was stronger than expected in Southern California.
“An overflowing stream raided five cabins at noon and drove 22 vehicles through Santa Barbara County’s El Capitan Canyon”, fire captain Dave Zaniboni reported.
About :20 people trapped in the canyon were rescued from a camp and private resort near a state beach”, according to officials.