California Under Rare Blizzard Warning

A powerful storm continued to move through California and into the Southwest on Saturday.

The winter weather was forecast to bring heavy rain, localized flooding, snow and blizzard conditions and cold temperatures.

The National Weather Service said that downtown San Francisco could see record-breaking cold temperatures on Saturday morning, with projected temperatures of 38 degrees Fahrenheit the coldest since 2009.

In southern California, flash flood warnings were issued through the wee hours of the morning for Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Flash flooding occurred late Friday in Ventura County, and as many as 10 inches were possible before Saturday afternoon. 

On Friday, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to an area just down the street from the Hollywood-Burbank Airport for reports of vehicles stuck on a flooded road, with Fox 11 reporting they found at least six vehicles.

While flash flooding was possible near creeks, streams and areas burned by wildfires, shallow landslides and mudslides were also expected.

The harsh conditions also trapped some motorists on State Route 17 before Friday morning, with the Grapevine reopening to traffic under police escort. Much of Interstate 80 remained closed on Friday.

Evacuation warnings were issued for some areas, with residents urged to be ready to flee at a moment’s notice.

An avalanche warning was issued for the Sierra Nevada backcountry around Lake Tahoe. 

Nearly 117,000 residents were without power there on Saturday morning, according to tracker PowerOutage.US.

Meanwhile, it reported over 472,000 outages in Michigan – which saw one of the worst ice storms in decades.

The governor called for more accountability from the state’s two largest utilities on repair efforts after the storm damaged electricity lines. Temperatures in the Detroit area were expected to drop into the high teens on Friday night and early Saturday. Promises of restoration by Sunday, when low temperatures were expected to rise to above zero, were of little consolation.

At least three people have died in the coast-to-coast storms, including a Michigan firefighter and a pedestrian who was hit by a snowplow. In Portland, Ore., one person died of hyperthermia.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.