Evacuations, outages as storm hits Calif.

Associated Press / January 19, 2010

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LOS ANGELES - Authorities ordered the evacuation of 64 southern California homes yesterday as heavy rains pounded a neighborhood just below an area scarred by a massive wildfire.

Forty-two other homeowners were told to be ready to leave.

More than 12,000 southern California residents lost power yesterday because of a heavy winter storm sweeping through the region that caused mudslides in fire-ravaged areas.

Vanessa McGrady, a spokeswoman with Southern California Edison, said customers in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties were without electricity.

The most affected communities were Arrowhead, Hawthorne, Hesperia, and unincorporated Los Angeles County. Outages were also reported in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Residents in southern California foothill communities were seeing the first of three storms this week. Forecasters said some areas could get up to 1.25 inches of rain an hour.

No major damage was reported. Forecasters said storms lasting through at least Friday could drop 20 inches of rain inland and 8 inches along the coast and in the valleys of southern California.