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California mudslide blocks Highway 91 in Orange County (+video)

Heavy rain triggered a mudslide that blocked California Highway 91 and stranded motorists. Flash flood warnings are in effect for many areas early Wednesday as the storm system moves inland.

The latest storm in a string of wet weather hammered Southern California overnight, unleashing heavy rain and triggering a mudslide that blocked a freeway and stranded motorists.

Flash flood warnings are in effect for many areas early Wednesday as the system moves inland. The second of back-to-back storms brought thunderstorms to the greater Los Angeles area and several inches of snow to the mountains.

A torrent of mud and rocks covered part of State Route 91 in Orange County early Wednesday. Cars and trucks were stuck for several hours, but no injuries were reported. The eastbound lanes are expected to be closed until at least 7 a.m.

The storm prompted temporary evacuations in Camarillo Springs, which was hit by mudslides last week. This time, the wildfire-scarred hillsides held above the community about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

In Southern California, torrents of rain fell Tuesday night on the cities of Torrance and Carson, flooding streets and leaving several cars stranded. But the rains and danger ended quickly and there were no reports of any injuries.

More rains were expected into Wednesday, with 1 and 2 inches expected at higher elevations and snow at higher than 6,000 feet.

The storms triggered fresh fears of mudslides in foothill neighborhoods that are below wildfire-scarred mountains and were swamped by debris in strong storms last week.

A high-surf advisory was in effect along the Los Angeles County coast until Wednesday afternoon.

The state has been hit hard by rain and snow over the past week. Last week's wind and rainfall caused widespread flooding and power outages in Northern California, including in downtown San Francisco.

Another storm system came through Monday, though forecasters say this week's storms aren't nearly as powerful as the one last week.

And while the storms help, much more rain is needed to pull the state out of its severe drought, forecasters say.

The Tuesday evening commute was wet and chaotic in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere in Northern California, with the rain expected to continue through Wednesday.

The National Weather Service warned of possible floods in most of the Bay Area. The storm was expected to bring up to 7 inches of snow to the Central Sierra, with wind gusts of up to 45 mph possible.

The weather service said Tuesday evening that excess runoff from heavy rainfall is expected to cause ponding in highways, streets and underpasses.

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