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Storm hits Calif., but drought unbroken

Assembly worker Terry Young of Rialto, Calif., navigated a flooded parking lot via a wooden pallet to get to a food truck during his break Friday in Anaheim amid a powerful Pacific storm.

Ken Steinhardt/The Orange County Register via Associated Press

Assembly worker Terry Young of Rialto, Calif., navigated a flooded parking lot via a wooden pallet to get to a food truck during his break Friday in Anaheim amid a powerful Pacific storm.

LOS ANGELES — California was lashed Friday by heavy rains that the parched state so desperately needs, though with the soaking came traffic snarls, power outages, and the threat of mudslides.

Even with rainfall totals exceeding six inches in some places by midday, the powerful Pacific storm did not put a major dent in a drought that is among the worst in recent California history.

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The first waves of the storm drenched foothill communities east of Los Angeles that just weeks ago were menaced by a wildfire — and now face the threat of mudslides.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for about 1,200 homes in the area. Small debris flows covered one street in Glendora, but no property damage occurred, police said.

Forecasters expected the storm to last through Saturday in California before trundling east into similarly rain-starved neighboring states. Phoenix was expecting its first noticeable precipitation in two months.

The threat of mudslides will last at least through Saturday night. Tornadoes and water spouts were possible as the next wave of the storm came ashore Friday.

Rainfall totals in parts of California were impressive, especially in areas that typically don’t receive much, but not nearly enough to offer long-term relief from a long-running drought.

Downtown Los Angeles received two inches before a midday reprieve, but remained about 12 inches below normal rainfall totals for the season.

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