LOS ANGELES, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- A powerful winter storm system hit the U.S. state of California, breaking rainfall record, forcing evacuations, creating dangerous conditions on roads and raising concerns about damaging mudslides.
At least four people died, and three were missing after the storm system triggered raging floodwaters over three days, according to local media reports.
Flash flood watches were issued for southern California through late Monday, with hail and thunderstorms forecast, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported.
Heavy rain could generate flash flooding and mud and debris flows, especially in and around recent burn areas, according to the NWS.
Evacuation orders were lifted Monday morning, affecting hundreds of homes below hillsides scarred by wildfires in this area.
About 9,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) customers were without electricity Monday morning as a result of storm-related damages, California City News reported.
"The most frequent causes of power outages during heavy rain storms are downed trees, dried palm fronds, tree branches from trees on both private and public property falling and making contact with power lines," according to an LADWP statement.
Flood watches and warnings remained in place for much of Southern California. The strong storm system in the region has prompted several freeway and streets closures due to flooding.
Commuters in the region faced a messy drive to work. Images, videos on social media platforms showed residents in Long Beach were kayaking through flooded streets and car being washed away by floodwaters.
NWS had warned that the storm system on Sunday could be the strongest since 2010.
According to Los Angeles International Airport, a record of 2.94 inches was established, beating the record set in 1983 by a full inch. An all-time rainfall record of of 3.97 inches was set at Long Beach Airport on Sunday, beating the record of 3.75 inches set Jan. 4, 1995.
Along the coast, high surf was rolling ashore and generated by storms over recent days will continue to batter beaches through Tuesday, NWS forecasters said.