Latest: Chopper touring flood area spots woman in distressJanuary 12, 2017 2:35am

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on winter storms in California and Nevada (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

A Kern County Sheriff's Office helicopter was flying grand jury members over areas affected by flooding when they spotted an elderly woman in distress and rescued her.

The office said Wednesday the Air-5 chopper was flying over a flooded area to assess damage Tuesday when they saw a pickup truck stuck in the middle of rushing flood waters along Caliente Creek Road near the town of Twin Oaks.

It says the Air-5 landed, and a deputy waded through knee-high water and carried the 85-year-old woman from the truck to safety.


6 p.m.

Lorin Doeleman says so much water flooded her house in Northern California that she decided to kayak through it to survey the damage and rescue a treasured bottle of brandy.

Doeleman says that after the water rose to about 3 ½ feet, she joked with her sister that it would be cool to kayak through the house.

Doeleman says she kayaked to the kitchen Wednesday and rescued her brandy.

She says she will have to replace the carpet and drywall in the house and that the electrical work and the kitchen may need to be repaired

Doeleman, who lives in Sacramento, says she and her mother received numerous warnings to evacuate but decided the situation was safe enough for her mother to stay upstairs where the water hasn't reached.


3:40 p.m.

Officials say a 9,000-pound slab of concrete from a home in Los Angeles' Hollywood Hills neighborhood slid down a rain-soaked hillside.

The Los Angeles Fire Department says the chunk of foundation and retaining wall detached from a home and ended up on a street.

No injuries are reported. The home's renters had evacuated and the road was closed earlier because of concerns that the undermined structure could fall.

Building and safety officials are at the scene.

Fire Department spokeswoman Margaret Stewart says heavy rains caused some ground to slide off the hillside but it's unclear whether that caused the collapse.

Meanwhile, the home has been red-tagged as being unsafe and a neighboring home has been yellow-tagged, meaning it's at lesser risk.


2:00 p.m.

A North Lake Tahoe resident's photo of snow bursting through his front door in storm-socked Northern California has been shared thousands of times on social media.

Alpine Meadows resident Steven Siig said he's hunkered down with his three children, wife and large German shepherd after a controlled avalanche set off by ski patrol encased his home in snow Tuesday.

The independent cinematographer, producer and theatre owner shared photos on Facebook showing snow bursting through his door and burying his home.

He said he has received plenty of offers to help and places to stay after posting photos of the avalanche aftermath.

Siig said he's seen a few major avalanches while living in this home— but this one may have been the biggest. Still, he told The Associated Press in a phone interview Tuesday that he felt safe because he was warned it was coming.

California Highway Patrol in Truckee confirms that Alpine Meadows ski patrol has been setting off controlled avalanches.


8:30 a.m.

Residents trapped in flooded homes are being rescued Wednesday in Northern California south of San Jose

KTVU reports ( ) that water is knee-high and rushed into more than two dozen homes in San Benito County after a creek overflowed.

The reporting crew heard an elderly woman yelling from her window that she wanted to be rescued. Her husband had recent surgery and couldn't walk out of the home.

Crews were able to help them to safety.

The Hollister Fire Department started getting 911 calls early Wednesday from panicked residents saying they were trapped.

Cal Fire and the San Jose Fire Department brought in boats to get people to safety.

All people rescued are being taken to a veterans building in Hollister.


6:50 a.m.

A rare blizzard warning for parts of the Sierra is set to expire at 10 a.m. Wednesday as the heaviest part of the storm has passed.

Tony Fuentes, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Reno, Nevada, urged caution, however, as snow will continue to fall throughout Wednesday and conditions remain hazardous.

Forecasters had warned of up to 10 feet of snow in the highest mountains, with up to 7 feet of snow around the resorts of Lake Tahoe.

Many ski resorts shut down Tuesday because of the storm.

Some ski resorts will stay closed Wednesday, including Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, which has no power due to the storm.

The resort posted on Facebook that it had received more than 3 feet of snow in the last 24 hours.


6 a.m.

The second fast-moving storm this week is dumping steady rain across Southern California.

The National Weather Service issued flood advisories Wednesday as river levels rose again in mountain areas from Santa Barbara County south into Los Angeles County.

Officials warn residents along Los Angeles-area hillsides scarred by wildfires of the possibility of mudslides. Only minor debris flows have been reported.

The storm is not as strong as the one that moved through Southern California on Monday. The downpours are expected to lighten throughout the morning, but there is another chance of rain late Wednesday and into Thursday.


5:45 a.m.

A small tornado touched down as part of a strong band of thunderstorms that moved through Northern California during the latest winter storm that swelled rivers and prompted evacuations over flood fears.

National Weather Service meteorologist David Rowe says the tornado was on the ground south of Sacramento for about 3/8 of a mile late Tuesday. It tore limbs from trees and ripped awnings from buildings. No injuries are reported from the small twister, which was about 100 yards wide.

Rowe says while the heaviest rain has moved through, the risk of flooding remains.

About 2,000 people in rural Wilton, near Sacramento, were asked to leave their homes Tuesday, as crews tried to bolster a river levee.

There's still no estimate when Interstate 80 will reopen after more than 6 feet of snow fell along the mountain artery.

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