DISASTERS

The Latest: Floods sweep through California mountain towns

  • Cars barrel their way through a flooded street in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. California residents evacuated neighborhoods below hillsides scarred by wildfires as the third, and largest, in the latest series of storms brought powerful rain Sunday and warnings about flash flooding and mudslides. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

    Cars barrel their way through a flooded street in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. California residents evacuated neighborhoods below hillsides scarred by wildfires as the third, and largest, in the latest series of storms brought powerful rain Sunday and warnings about flash flooding and mudslides. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)  (The Associated Press)

  • Cars barrel their way through a flooded street in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. California residents evacuated neighborhoods below hillsides scarred by wildfires as the third, and largest, in the latest series of storms brought powerful rain Sunday and warnings about flash flooding and mudslides. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

    Cars barrel their way through a flooded street in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017. California residents evacuated neighborhoods below hillsides scarred by wildfires as the third, and largest, in the latest series of storms brought powerful rain Sunday and warnings about flash flooding and mudslides. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on winter storms in California (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Fast-moving floodwaters swept through mountain communities south of the San Francisco Bay Area as thunderstorms and powerful winds wallop California.

Residents of Paradise Park watched helplessly Sunday as the San Lorenzo River spilled over its banks for the second time this month, sending muddy water and debris into yards and some homes. No injuries have been reported.

Battalion Chief Aldo Gonzales for the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection tells the Sentinel newspaper that the river is the highest he's ever seen it.

Rock slides, debris flows and flooding have closed roads and snarled traffic up and down the state as the third storm in four days dumped heavy rain and snow in the mountains.

Flash flood watches and warnings are in effect for swaths of greater Los Angeles, where mountain locations could see up to 6 inches of rain.

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8:40 a.m.

California residents have evacuated neighborhoods below hillsides scarred by wildfires as the third — and largest — in the latest series of storms brings powerful rain and warnings about flash flooding and possible mudslides.

The National Weather Service says the system is gaining strength Sunday and could be the strongest in at least seven years. Flash flood watches and warnings are in effect for swaths of greater Los Angeles, where mountain areas could see more than 2 inches of rain.

Evacuations are ordered near wildfire burn areas in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Orange counties. Officials say potential debris flows could restrict access for emergency responders.

To the north, a band of strong thunderstorms is moving through the San Francisco Bay Area and heavy snow is expected in the Sierra Nevada.