The Latest: 1 dead, 1 rescued from swollen creek | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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The Latest: 1 dead, 1 rescued from swollen creek

February 09, 2017 - 4:53 PM

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The Latest on wet winter storms in California (all times local):

6 p.m.

Authorities in Central California say a man has died and a woman has been rescued after their car plunged off a road and submerged in a storm-swollen creek.

Swift water rescue teams rescued the woman from Poso Creek near Bakersfield on Thursday morning.

The Kern County Fire Department says the woman was standing on debris about 20 feet from shore and clinging to tree branches in the swiftly-moving creek.

The body of a man in his 20s was later found inside the submerged, upside-down car after it was pulled from the water.

Kern County sheriff's Sgt. Steve Williams says it's unclear why the car went into the creek. He says the creek is at flood levels because of the recent storms.

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4:30 p.m.

The California Highway Patrol says a worker who was run over and killed by a dump truck while clearing a Northern California mudslide was a 54-year-old man from Los Banos.

But his name hasn't been released.

Another man, 33-year-old Stephen Whitmier of San Jose, was injured shortly before noon Thursday on Highway 17, about 25 miles south of San Jose.

CHP officer Trista Drake says the men were behind the truck when it began backing up. The accident is under investigation and the driver hasn't been cited.

The dead man and the injured man worked for Graniterock, a construction company based in Watsonville. They were clearing debris from Tuesday's slide, which briefly shut the main north-south artery between San Jose and coastal Santa Cruz.

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2:15 p.m.

One member of a road crew was killed and another injured when a dump truck ran over them while working to clear a massive mudslide along a Northern California highway.

The California Highway Patrol said the accident occurred shortly after noon on Highway 17 about 25 miles south of San Jose.

A mudslide on Tuesday briefly shut the main north-south artery between San Jose and coastal Santa Cruz and crews have been working since then to clear debris.

The CHP says one of the worker's was pronounced dead the scene and the other was conscious and talking to paramedics while pinned under the wheel of the dump truck. The survivor was extricated and taken to a nearby hospital.

The CHP didn't release the names of the workers.

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11:50 a.m.

State engineers have discovered new damage to the Oroville Dam spillway in Northern California.

Earlier this week, chunks of concrete went flying off the emergency spillway, creating a 200-foot-long, 30-foot-deep hole.

After releasing water to test how much the facility could still handle, state engineers told the Sacramento Bee newspaper (http://bit.ly/2lmI59V ) that they found the hole had grown by an additional 50 feet. They said the new damage wasn't as bad as they'd expected.

Officials with the Department of Water Resources, which operates the dam, say the dam is safe and doesn't threaten communities downstream.

But reservoir levels are continuing to rise behind the critical flood-control structure.

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9:25 a.m.

Half of Marin County public schools are closed because of severe rain and winds.

Marin County Office of Education Assistant Superintendent Ken Lippi says 40 of the 80 public schools closed Thursday, impacting roughly 16,000 students. Additionally, 17 private schools are shuttered.

The Marin County Office of Emergency Services and the National Weather Service indicate that severe rain and winds, coupled with high tide, are expected through the morning, causing traffic gridlock, flash flood warnings and the potential for landslides.

This is the second time this week that Marin County has closed schools. Schools were also closed Tuesday during heavy storms. Before Tuesday, Lippi says schools last closed because of weather in 2014.

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5:15 a.m.

The strongest of this week's drenching storms has moved ashore in Northern California, raising the risk of flooding and mudslides in the region of already soggy hillsides and swollen rivers.

Flood and wind warnings are in place again Thursday north of San Francisco, where residents along the Russian River have stacked sandbags to protect their properties.

The river overtopped its banks in some areas and flooded streets Wednesday, but it began to drop later in the day. The wine region community never dried out after damaging flooding during storms last month.

The National Weather Service is warning that the nearby Napa River could swell beyond flood stage by Thursday evening.

Southern California is getting a break from days of rain, but dense fog is making for treacherous driving and has led to flight delays at Los Angeles International Airport.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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