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A man struggles against gusty wind and heavy rain as he walks along a pier Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, in Huntington Beach, Calif. A major Pacific storm has unleashed downpours and fierce gusts on Southern California, triggering flash flood warnings and other problems. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

A massive rainstorm in Southern California has left at least three people dead


UPDATE 8:21pm: At least three people have died as a result of the dangerous conditions in Southern California, CNN reported.

A massive Pacific rain storm unleashed its wrath over the drought-prone region of Southern California this weekend, leading to ravaged roads, opened sinkholes, and the deaths of at least two people, affiliate Fox 45 reported.

The storm, which peaked late Friday afternoon, dropped more than eight inches of rain in one area. 

A massive rainstorm in Southern California has left at least three people dead

WATCH | Southern California gets hit with a huge rainstorm 

San Bernardino County fire spokesman Eric Sherwin said one man was found dead in a submerged vehicle after others were rescued. In the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles, a man was electrocuted after a tree downed power lines that then hit his car.

A sinkhole swallowed two cars, one of which was captured on live TV, in nearby Studio City.

The California Department of Transportation estimated emergency repairs to the freeway to cost about $3 million.

After hitting the south hard, the storm has made its way up to the north where damaged to the spillways of the Lake Oroville dam forced the evacuation of 188,000 last weekend. The lake's water elevation had fallen more than 45 feet as of Saturday.

Nearly 200 people in areas northwest of Sacramento were evacuated. Kenny Cohen, the fire chief, said 100 homes as well as the elementary school filled with inches of water before the water began to recede. 

The National Weather Service described the storm as the "strongest storm to hist southwest California this season." 

It added, "It is likely the strongest within the last six years and possibly even as far back as December 2004 or January 1995."

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