Widespread rain and winds hit Southern California, with mountain snow on the way, bringing with them a fresh wave of severe weather, including the strongest tornado in recent history that killed at least seven people and destroyed dozens of homes in Yuma County, officials said on Friday.
An EF4 tornado struck the community of Chino, killing or disabling seven people and destroying more than 40 homes as well as a business, the Yuma County Coroner said in a news release. The death toll was expected to rise.
The storm was the first major rain and wind event of the year, and the strongest to hit Yuma County in at least a decade.
The storm was followed by the wettest day on record at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Lake Mead National Recreation Area was at the highest level in recorded history Friday, with more water available in the basin as the storm caused more flooding along the Colorado River.
In Southern California, the storm brought with it a flash flood warning Sunday morning for areas from Ventura to San Diego counties.
“There is a pretty good possibility for flooding during the morning hours over parts of Southern California, and we’re going to monitor the situation,” California Governor Jerry Brown said on Twitter.
A man was found dead Wednesday in the parking lot of the Yuma County Courthouse following the evacuation, and authorities said the man, who didn’t know he was missing, and the woman who found him had been in an argument over a parking spot.
The National Weather Service said a high of 78 in the Antelope Valley had prompted the evacuation in the early morning.
Meanwhile, in a separate development Friday, authorities said a man has been charged with murdering his mother, who was found dead Wednesday in her home in Chino.
Chino police spokesman Sgt. Dan Kappler said a man was arrested in Chino on Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree murder and murder of an