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December 22, 2010
Storm lashes Southern California
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- The tail end of a storm that dumped rain on Southern California for nearly a week gave the region one final lashing, burying houses and cars in mud, washing hillsides onto highways, flooding urban streets, threatening dozens of canyon homes and spreading filthy water that prompted the closure of 12 miles of Orange County beaches. Inflatable boats and canoes were used to rescue dozens of motorists and homeowners from flooded streets, hotels and hillsides. Others refused to leave their homes, even as dirty water and mud sliced through their neighborhoods. The storm turned the final days before Christmas into a nightmare, and left some residents fearful that more and bigger mudslides could strike the wildfire-scarred hillsides in suburban Los Angeles even after the skies cleared. (38 images)

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A woman is rescued from floodwaters after being stranded in a hotel after a powerful rainstorm December 22, 2010 in San Diego, California. Forty-seven guests were stranded at the Premiere Hotel after floodwaters rose and blocked them from getting to dry land. Getty Images / Sandy Huffaker


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Hotels on Hotel Circle Place were inundated by waters from the swollen San Diego River Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010 in San Diego. The tail end of a storm that dumped rain on Southern California for nearly a week gave the region one final lashing, burying houses and cars in mud, washing hillsides onto highways, flooding urban streets and threatening dozens of canyon homes. The San Diego Union-Tribune / John Gibbins



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Hotel guests wait for rescue officials to lead them across floodwaters on a raft after being stranded in a hotel after a powerful rainstorm December 22, 2010 in San Diego, California. Getty Images / Sandy Huffaker



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Linda Dealy (C) and her dog are rescued from floodwaters after being stranded in a hotel after a powerful rainstorm December 22, 2010 in San Diego, California. Getty Images / Sandy Huffaker



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Jennifer Bowerman (C) is rescued from floodwaters after being stranded in a hotel after a powerful rainstorm December 22, 2010 in San Diego, California. Getty Images / Sandy Huffaker



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Rescue official Rick Stel guides a raft down a flooded street after a powerful rainstorm December 22, 2010 in San Diego, California. Getty Images / Sandy Huffaker



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Elizabeth Sigala, far left, is consoled by friend Brandi Kole, as 13-year-old Crystal Sigala stares at the muddy floors in their apartment after a torrent of water flooded apartments on fourth Street in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. The flooding was so severe the family lost much of their possessions and will be displaced from the homes through the holidays. The Desert Sun / Michael Snyder



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A vehicle is trapped in rushing flood water on Frank Sinatra Drive between Highway 111 and Da Vall Drive on Wednesday, December 22, 2010 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The Desert Sun / Marilyn Chung



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People take photographs of a car partially submerged, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010 in Loma Linda, Calif. The Press-Enterprise / William Wilson Lewis III



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A vehicle sits trapped in mud in a residential area in Highland, Calif. on Wednesday, December 22, 2010. The Press-Enterprise / Stan Lim



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City of Redlands firefighter Engineer Chris Randolph and Redlands Quality of Life employee Jeff Standfield rescue a woman from her truck after she got stranded in flash flood that washed out San Timoteo Road, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010, in Redlands, Calif. Six vehicles were stuck in the mud and debris from the flash flood and seberal people had to be rescues from their vehicles. The Press-Enterprise / Mark Zaleski



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Karen Hernandez, left, with her mother Josephine Sanchez comfort each other after mud buried their home on Bangor Avenue Wednesday Dec. 22, 2010 in Highland, Calif. The Sun / LaFonzo Carter



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Raindrops frame a warning sign in area destroyed by Jesusita Fire last year on December 22, 2010 in Santa Barbara, California. Getty Images / Spencer Weiner



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Jason Foulds shovels mud and debris in a flooded area of Silverado Canyon, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. Storm runoff and mud has prompted the evacuation of about 30 people in the area. AP / Nick Ut



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A resident in Silverado Canyon, Calif., uses a front end loader to clear a mud flow on his street after heavy rains drench the area Wednesday, Dec 22, 2010. AP / Nick Ut



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At left Jesse Archer and Ryan Moore make an attempt to move their friend Surina Alzalde's car out of the water after she got stuck at the corner of Varner Road and Rio Del Sol Road, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010 in Thousand Palms, Calif. The Desert Sun / Omar Ornelas



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Clyde Jennings walks through flooded waters at his lumber business on Sorrento Valley Road north of San Diego, Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2010. Los Angeles Times / Don Bartletti



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Emergency responders look into the rain-swollen Laguna Creek on Sun Valley Dr. after a silver Porsche ended up in the stream, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010 in Laguna Beach, Calif.. Los Angeles Times / Allen J. Schaben



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Mud and flooded street greeted resident in downtown Laguna Beach, Calif., Wednesday morning, Dec. 22, 2010, after the latest in a series of storm pounded the area. Los Angeles Times / Al Schaben



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A Laguna Beach police officer, left, helps a woman across Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, Calif. Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. Downtown Laguna Beach was closed by up to 4 feet of storm runoff, which receded but left streets awash in mud. AP / Denis Poroy



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Laguna Beach resident Priscilla Newton reaches down to recover her boot from the mud on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. AP / Denis Poroy



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Two men take advantage of a break in the rain to play chess under umbrellas along the beach in downtown Laguna Beach, Calif. Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. AP / Denis Poroy



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Oliva Brown, who spent the night at an emergency center, gets ready to leave after the mandatory evacuation order in her neighborhood was lifted in La Canada Flintridge, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. AP / Jae C. Hong



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Ralph Voehl delivers sandbags to protect the home of a fellow resident in Modjeska Canyon, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. AP / Alex Gallardo



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Resident Buddy Lang tries to scoop out water to protect the home of a follow resident in Modjeska Canyon, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. AP / Alex Gallardo



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Resident Ben Viloria shovels mud to control flood waters from a hillside from entering his home in Modjeska Canyon, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. AP / Alex Gallardo



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Residents tie the axle to a large tree to secure a van caught in a flooded area in Silverado Canyon, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010. AP / Alex Gallardo



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People attempt to pull a truck out of the rain-swollen Santiago Creek near Modjeska Canyon, Calif. on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010. Orange County Register / Mark Rightmire



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A worker removes a large tree from a home on Oletha Lane in the Beverly Glen neighborhood of Los Angeles, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010. AP / Jason Redmond



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A resident signs a wavier after two Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies who declined to give their names, delivered a mandatory evacuation notice in La Canada Flintridge, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010. AP / Jae C. Hong



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Dog Walker Dorothy Agius-Bennett takes her pets for a stroll during a powerful rainstorm on December 21, 2010 in San Diego, California. Getty Images / Sandy Huffaker



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A couple holds and umbrella while walking on the Ocean Beach Pier during a powerful rainstorm on December 21, 2010 in San Diego, California. Getty Images / Sandy Huffaker



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A vehicle sits partially submerged after flood waters rose in the San Diego River during a powerful rainstorm on December 21, 2010 in San Diego, California. Getty Images / Sandy Huffaker



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Alyssa Espalin, of Redlands, Calif., is dwarfed by a large tree that has fallen over at Sylvan Park in Redlands on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010. The Press-Enterprise / Stan Lim



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Disneyland visitors wear rain gear as they leave the Anaheim, Calif., park Tuesday, Dec 21, 2010. AP / Nick Ut



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A woman walks on the sidewalk as a passing motorist splashes water in Anaheim, Calif. on Monday, Dec. 20, 2010. The Orange County Register / Bruce Chambers



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Tourists walk on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, Monday, Dec. 20, 2010. AP / Jae C. Hong



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A man walks across the intersection during a rain storm in La Crescenta , Calif., Monday, Dec. 20, 2010. AP / Jae C. Hong



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