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Published on : Saturday, November 23, 2013
The winter claimed its first victims. Three people were killed in blustery Northern California, football playoffs were called off because of rain in Arizona, and dozens of cars got stranded in snowy rural Nevada as winter weather blew through the West.
A low pressure front dropped down from Alaska, followed closely by a high pressure system that stirred up the fierce winds linked to the three deaths Thursday in California.
The weather system was expected to head east and reach the opposite coast by the middle of next week, but not before dropping rain on the Southwest through Saturday morning, National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Anderson said.
Police responded to reports of an unresponsive person in Oakland and found fallen sections of a tree and power lines. The person was pronounced dead at the scene; the cause of death was under investigation.
Another man died in Oakland less than an hour later after he crashed into a fallen tree while apparently trying to avoid debris on the road, the Contra Costa Times reported. Neither man has been identified.
In Yuba County, Sherri Pesich, 52, died when part of a 30-inch tree fell on a parked car in which she was sitting, Undersheriff Jerry Read said. Another woman in the car was taken to a hospital; her condition was unknown.
Meanwhile, a homeless man had to be rescued from a tree by helicopter and four others were plucked from an island after getting trapped in the swollen Santa Ana River in California’s San Bernardino County.
In northern Utah, transportation officials warned truck drivers of potential trailer-toppling gusts. No accidents had been reported, but big rigs were pulling off to the side of the freeways to wait out the winds Friday morning, Utah Highway Patrol officials told The Salt Lake Tribune.
The rain was turning to heavy snow in higher elevations, including rural eastern Nevada’s Lincoln County, where 50 to 60 cars got stranded early Friday in “a long stretch of absolutely nothing,” dispatcher Shannon Miller said. No injuries were reported, but U.S. 93 was closed south of Ely..com