One Damp Thing After Another

Four California storms splinter homes and wash out highways

The storm started in the Gulf of Alaska and lumbered southward toward California, gaining force and intensity. By the time it punched into the coast of the nation's most populous state at midweek, it carried driving rains, 15-ft. waves and 50-m.p.h. winds. The raging surf and rain washed away beaches and chunks of highways, sent mud cascading down hillsides and shattered piers and houses. During one eleven-hour stretch, Los Angeles got two inches of rain. "We usually don't get two inches of rain in a...

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