Fox News Weather Center

New Storm Bringing Powerful Wind, Rain to Calif.

LOS ANGELES -- A powerful new storm pushed into California from the north on Tuesday as parts of the waterlogged state were still cleaning up mud and damage from a siege of record rains last week.

Gale warnings went up along almost the entire coast, flood advisories and watches were posted in parts of the North Coast and the Central Valley, and warnings for heavy snow were issued for the length of the Sierra Nevada.

The National Weather Service said the storm was fueled by subtropical moisture from the north of Hawaii, combined with low pressure over the Northeast Pacific. The previous storms were fed by a similar plume, but it originated from south of the Hawaiian Islands and rained most heavily in the southern half of the state.

The new rain wasn't expected to arrive in Southern California until late Tuesday, so shovel-toting volunteers took advantage of sunny weather to clear mud from around dozens of homes in the San Bernardino County community of Highland, which was among areas hit hardest last week.

About 700 volunteers from Highland and neighboring cities turned out, meeting at a Baptist church where they were assigned to teams and bused to properties, said Bill Peters, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

"It was an awesome response," Peters said.

Some 100,000 sandbags were placed to protect the community in case of a repeat of the mud flow that belched from local mountains, overwhelmed a drain channel and surrounded or inundated homes with mud several feet deep.

The sandbag walls were built up to the height of that flow.

"We're pretty positive we can handle up to what happened last week," Peters said.

About 50 homes remained evacuated Tuesday.

The California Department of Transportation, meanwhile, worked on extensive storm damage to routes in the inland counties east of Los Angeles.

Among the worst damage sites was a section of State Route 330 that slid down a mountain, leaving a huge gap in the road that leads to resorts at Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains. There was no estimate of how long it would take to restore the route, Caltrans said.

City officials in Laguna Beach said last week's storms caused more than $10 million in damage to public and private property, the Orange County Register reported Tuesday.

The storm was expected to renew the potential for debris flows and mudslides in areas denuded by wildfires, including the San Gabriel Mountains above Los Angeles' foothill suburbs. Those communities escaped trouble last week as flood control basins captured debris.

Forecasters said most of the rain would fall in a four to six hour period and would be followed by widespread, potentially damaging winds and with very cold temperatures Wednesday night through Thursday night.

Gusts up to 70 mph were possible in the mountains of Southern California, and the combination of strong winds on top of saturated soil conditions could lead to toppled trees and downed power lines.