Three Dead in California Storms

Heavy rain and winds gusting up to nearly 70 mph battered Southern California (search) on Friday, triggering dozens of wrecks. At least three people died.

The eastern edge of the storm also pounded southern Utah. Flash-flood warnings were issued in the same area of Utah where a river jumped its banks and washed away dozens of homes a month ago.

The storm system that moved into Southern California late Thursday dumped from an inch of rain on the coast to more than 3 inches in some mountain areas; rain was expected to continue through early Saturday. Wind gusts up to 69 mph were recorded.

The California Highway Patrol said 380 accidents were reported in the area between midnight and 9 a.m. Friday, compared to 104 during the same period the previous Friday.

A 26-year-old patient died when a van used to transport people with disabilities rolled over on a freeway; two other people died in crashes in Glendale and San Diego.

Crews made a helicopter rescue in Santa Clarita when a trucker lost control of his big-rig on a highway and landed in a rain-swollen creek. The driver was airlifted to a hospital after spending about two hours on top of his truck.

Also, a boy who had clung to the side of a 40-foot-high concrete channel was rescued from the Los Angeles River on Friday afternoon. He was taken to a hospital for evaluation. A second boy managed to escape on his own.

It was the region's first significant rainfall since five days of torrential storms last month killed at least 28 people.

In Utah, weather service hydrologist Brian McInerey said up to 2 inches of rain were expected -- far from January's deluge of between 10 and 12 inches. Dozens of homes were washed away in the earlier deluge, part of an estimated $160 million in damage across the region.

With the Santa Clara river running straighter and faster than normal since then, McInerey said residents would be wise to "get out of the way."