California residents load up sandbags, brace for big storm

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California Storms (updated 12/12/14)
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California residents load up sandbags, brace for big storm
Caltrans crews work to clean up a torrent of mud and rocks covering part of State Route 91 in Orange County early Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Yorba Linda, Calif. Cars and trucks were stuck for several hours, but no injuries were reported. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Traffic backs up after a torrent of mud and rocks covered part of State Route 91 in Orange County early Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, near Yorba Linda, Calif. Cars and trucks were stuck for several hours, but no injuries were reported. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Caltrans crews work to clean up a torrent of mud and rocks covering part of State Route 91 in Orange County early Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Yorba Linda, Calif. Cars and trucks were stuck for several hours, but no injuries were reported. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Caltrans crews work to clean up a torrent of mud and rocks covering part of State Route 91 in Orange County early Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Yorba Linda, Calif. Cars and trucks were stuck for several hours, but no injuries were reported. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Caltrans crews work to clean up a torrent of mud and rocks covering part of State Route 91 in Orange County early Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Yorba Linda, Calif. Cars and trucks were stuck for several hours, but no injuries were reported. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
A surfer rides a wave at Blacks Beach, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, in San Diego. A new storm dumped more rain on already waterlogged parts California Tuesday, bringing large surf with it to Southern California. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
A surfer rides a wave at Blacks Beach, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, in San Diego. A new storm dumped more rain on already waterlogged parts California Tuesday, bringing large surf with it to Southern California. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Protestors huddle under umbrellas and use a banner for rain shelter Monday, Dec. 15, 2014, in Oakland, Calif. A new storm dumped more rain on already waterlogged parts of Northern California, causing minor road flooding, scattered power outages and airport delays. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Trending: Carmel River diverted to allow dam removal, prevent catastrophic mudslide http://t.co/4dKkwPf8nA http://t.co/FPNi1EPEaF
Steve Derst uses a kayak to inspect the damage to the trailer park where he lives Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in Guerneville, Calif. Derst pulled his home out of the park earlier in the week. While the sun rose Friday in a dry San Francisco sky, the storm's affects lingered in Northern California. In Sonoma County, the Russian River was approaching flood stage and was expected to crest several feet above it by early afternoon. Officials advised residents of about 300 homes to evacuate low-lying areas. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Madison Gardner, 4, looks out at a flooded vineyard on Wohler Road Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in Forestville, Calif. While the sun rose Friday in a dry San Francisco sky, the storm's affects lingered in Northern California. In Sonoma County, the Russian River was approaching flood stage and was expected to crest several feet above it by early afternoon. Officials advised residents of about 300 homes to evacuate low-lying areas. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
An RV sits underwater from the flooded Russian River Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in Guerneville, Calif. While the sun rose Friday in a dry San Francisco sky, the storm's affects lingered in Northern California. In Sonoma County, the Russian River was approaching flood stage and was expected to crest several feet above it by early afternoon. Officials advised residents of about 300 homes to evacuate low-lying areas. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Water from the Russian River floods an amusement park Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in Guerneville, Calif. While the sun rose Friday in a dry San Francisco sky, the storm's affects lingered in Northern California. In Sonoma County, the Russian River was approaching flood stage and was expected to crest several feet above it by early afternoon. Officials advised residents of about 300 homes to evacuate low-lying areas. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Vineyard manager Jorge Olivera takes pictures of Pinot Noir vines in flooded Nonny's Vineyard along River Road Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in Forestville, Calif. While the sun rose Friday in a dry San Francisco sky, the storm's affects lingered in Northern California. In Sonoma County, the Russian River was approaching flood stage and was expected to crest several feet above it by early afternoon. Officials advised residents of about 300 homes to evacuate low-lying areas. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Water from the Russian River floods the Mirabel RV and trailer park Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, in Forestville, Calif. While the sun rose Friday in a dry San Francisco sky, the storm's affects lingered in Northern California. In Sonoma County, the Russian River was approaching flood stage and was expected to crest several feet above it by early afternoon. Officials advised residents of about 300 homes to evacuate low-lying areas. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Mudslides & floods hit California,US http://t.co/uk0sA2AAc2 #SoCal #Cali #hellastorm #SoCalStorm #californiastorm http://t.co/8YhFGobg6Z
#NorCal copes, tweets, posts amid #californiastorm. #NorCalStorm By @VeronicaRochaLA http://t.co/8b6YlfTRbZ http://t.co/Juar2oHVSc
120' Eucalyptus fell on Albertson's in Buellton during last nights storm. Stay with us for latest! #californiastorm http://t.co/XOmrFfKiRg
Intense rains flood the streets of #Windsor #California ... #californiastorm http://t.co/X6isHi2nUL
Water covers one of several vehicles stranded in an Ashby Ave. in Berkeley, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Water covers one of several vehicles stranded in an Ashby Ave. in Berkeley, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Torrential rain triggering mudslides in Camarillo Springs. Residents rescued after mud trapped them in their homes. http://t.co/0S8K09ZHMF
This photo provided by the Placer County Sheriff shows waves pounding a dock in Lake Tahoe, Calif. on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. A powerful storm churned down the West Coast Thursday, bringing strong gales and much-needed rain and snow that caused widespread blackouts in Northern California and whiteouts in the Sierra Nevada. (AP Photo/Placer County Sheriff)
Several mudslides in Calif. Evacuations #happeningnow. Watch #News5Today for the video. http://t.co/xOAqCIoOKH
A Caltrans crew tries to clear a flooded stretch of Highway 101 in South San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
People use kayaks and a canoe to make their way around a flooded parking lot at a shopping center Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Healdsburg, Calif. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Zaruk Heely, 9, boogie boards on a flooded fairway at the Sharp Park Golf Course in Pacifica Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Strong gales and sheets of rain that knocked out electricity, flooded freeways and toppled trees in Northern California churned Thursday to a slide-prone Southern California bracing for its own beating. (AP Photo/Alex Washburn)
A man uses a kayak to make his way around a flooded parking lot at a shopping center Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Healdsburg, Calif. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Cars make their way through a flooded street in Pacifica Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Strong gales and sheets of rain that knocked out electricity, flooded freeways and toppled trees in Northern California churned Thursday to the slide-prone southern part of the state bracing for its own beating. (AP Photo/Alex Washburn)
A motorist pushes his car through a flooded stretch of Highway 101 in South San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
In this photo provided by the Placer County Sheriff a lone surfer catches a wave caused by high winds in Lake Tahoe, Calif. on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Winds gusting to 140 mph through Sierra Nevada passed ahead of a powerful Pacific storm, damaging homes and a church in South Lake Tahoe, closing schools, and grounding commercial airline flights in Reno. (AP Photo/Placer County Sheriff)
A closed sign due to the weather is shown in the window of the Kendall-Jackson wine tasting room Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Healdsburg, Calif. Strong gales and sheets of rain that knocked out electricity, flooded freeways and toppled trees in Northern California churned Thursday to the slide-prone southern part of the state bracing for its own beating. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
A girl wades through a flooded parking lot at a shopping center, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Healdsburg, Calif. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Laurie Gaggero boogie boards through floodwaters at the Sharp Park Golf Course near damaged trees in Pacifica Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Gaggero, a Pacifica resident, said playing on the flooded fairways during storms is an activity popular with local residents. Strong gales and sheets of rain that knocked out electricity, flooded freeways and toppled trees in Northern California churned Thursday to a slide-prone Southern California bracing for its own beating. (AP Photo/Alex Washburn)
Matthew Hazard cleans snow from his vehicle after several inches fell in Soda Springs, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Snow from a severe storm that swept through Northern California fell in the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada forcing drivers without four-wheel drive vehicles to put on chains before crossing over Donner Summit. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Steve Vatenais chains up at a chain control point on eastbound Interstate 80 near Kingvale, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Several inches of snow from a severe storm that swept through Northern California fell in the Sierra Nevada forcing drivers without four-wheel drive vehicles to put on chains before crossing over Donner Summit. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
A sign warns drivers of the road conditions on Donner Pass Road near Soda Springs, Calif., Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Several inches of snow from a severe storm that swept through Northern California fell in the Sierra Nevada forcing drivers without four-wheel drive vehicles to put on chains before crossing over Donner Summit. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Vehicles make their way along eastbound Interstate 80 near Soda Springs, Calif. Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. A powerful storm churned down the West Coast Thursday, bringing strong gales and much-needed rain and snow that caused widespread blackouts in Northern California and whiteouts in the Sierra Nevada. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
California is bracing for what some meteorologists are calling the fiercest storm in over 5 years.
A car and shopping cart are submerged in water at a flooded shopping center Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Healdsburg, Calif. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Aidan Perez, left, 12, and Christopher Dow, right, 11, use a shopping cart to get around the flooded parking lot of a shopping center Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Healdsburg, Calif. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Mark Kunze of San Bruno pushes his stalled vehicle out of the flooded intersection of Airport Blvd. and Grand Ave. in South San Francisco, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Several vehicles stalled in and around the intersection after driving through the deep water. A powerful storm churned through the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while bringing a soaking of much needed rain. (AP Photo/Alex Washburn)
Robert Wagner carries a bag of food for breakfast and a pack of beer while walking down a flooded street to his home Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Healdsburg, Calif. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Cars make their way past flooding as they head south on the 280 freeway through Daly City, Calif. on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, as a powerful storm churned through the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while bringing a soaking of much needed rain. (AP Photo/Alex Washburn)
A group of girls laugh while running down a flooded street Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Healdsburg, Calif. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
A pickup makes its way down a flooded street Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Healdsburg, Calif. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Traffic moves slowly as flood water runs over Highway 101 near the Marin and Sonoma county border Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Petaluma, Calif. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
A van navigates a flooded roadway in Berkeley, Calif., on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Mark Kunze of San Bruno stalls his car in the flooded intersection of Airport Blvd. and Grand Ave. in South San Francisco, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Several vehicles stalled in and around the intersection after driving through the deep water. A powerful storm churned through the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while bringing a soaking of much needed rain. (AP Photo/Alex Washburn)
A man rides his bicycle through the flooded intersection of Airport Blvd. and Grand Ave. in South San Francisco, on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. A powerful storm churned through the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while bringing a soaking of much needed rain. (AP Photo/Alex Washburn)
Stalled cars wait for help at the intersection of Airport Blvd. and Grand Ave. in South San Francisco on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. The vehicles stalled after driving through water that had flooded the intersection. A powerful storm churned through the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while bringing a soaking of much needed rain. (AP Photo/Alex Washburn)
A car creates a wave of water while passing through a flooded area Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Mill Valley, Calif. A storm expected to be one of the windiest and rainiest in five years swept across the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday, knocking out power to tens to thousands and delaying travel by air, train and ferry. Pacific Gas & Electric is reporting outages are widespread across the Bay Area due to weather, but officials weren't immediately available to give a specific number of outages.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
A bus passes through a flooded roadway Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Mill Valley, Calif. A storm expected to be one of the windiest and rainiest in five years swept across the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday, knocking out power to tens to thousands and delaying travel by air, train and ferry. Pacific Gas & Electric is reporting outages are widespread across the Bay Area due to weather, but officials weren't immediately available to give a specific number of outages.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
A commuter makes his way in the wind and rain to catch a ferry, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, to San Francisco from Sausalito, Calif. A storm expected to be one of the windiest and rainiest in five years swept across the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday, knocking out power to thousands and delaying travel by air, train and ferry. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Commuter ML Mann struggles in the wind and rain to make her way to catch a ferry, Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, to San Francisco from Sausalito, Calif. A storm expected to be one of the windiest and rainiest in five years swept across the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday, knocking out power to thousands and delaying travel by air, train and ferry. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
AP10ThingsToSee - A man carries an umbrella as he crosses Montgomery Street in San Francisco, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. The San Francisco Bay Area reached or exceeded normal annual rainfall totals for the first time in years. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Traffic moves slowly across the Golden Gate Bridge in the high winds and rain Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in this view from Sausalito, Calif. A storm expected to be one of the windiest and rainiest in five years swept across the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday, knocking out power to tens to thousands and delaying travel by air, train and ferry. Pacific Gas & Electric is reporting outages are widespread across the Bay Area due to weather, but officials weren't immediately available to give a specific number of outages.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Satellite Imagery of Northern California taken by the NOAA (12/11/14)
Satellite Imagery of Northern California taken by the NOAA (12/11/14)
@sal_castaneda street flooded before 8:00 a.m. http://t.co/JgLhS8mMfd
#hellastorm update: uber about to surpass Halloween2014 pricing??? http://t.co/eDmiEyissX
Jerry Croissant, 77, places sandbags to protect his home from mudslides outside his home in Gelndra, Calif., below mountains burned over in widlfires, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. A powerful storm expected to pack hurricane-force winds and heavy rain triggered emergency preparations across Northern California on Wednesday, with residents gathering sand bags, crews clearing storm drains and San Francisco school officials canceling classes for the first time since 9/11. As much as 8 inches of rain could fall on coastal mountains over a 24-hour period starting late Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. Ski resorts in the northern Sierra Nevada could get more than 2 feet of snow. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Janessa Gilbert gets help filling a sandbag from her son, Hudson , 4, at an area fire station for use at their home in the Sacramento suburb of North Highlands, Calif. Wednesday Dec. 10, 2014. Sandbags and sand were provided in flood-prone areas of Sacramento County for residents to use to protect their homes in anticipation of a powerful storm that is expected to hit Northern California Thursday. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Concrete 'K' rails protect homes from possible flooding in Glendora, Calif., below mountains burned over in widlfires, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. A powerful storm expected to pack hurricane-force winds and heavy rain triggered emergency preparations across Northern California on Wednesday, with residents gathering sand bags, crews clearing storm drains and San Francisco school officials canceling classes for the first time since 9/11. As much as 8 inches of rain could fall on coastal mountains over a 24-hour period starting late Wednesday, the National Weather Service said. Ski resorts in the northern Sierra Nevada could get more than 2 feet of snow. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
SAN ANSELMO, CA - DECEMBER 10: Staysea Colteaux (L) and Chris Furbee (R) set up sandbags and seal a vent in front of Dogville on December 10, 2014 in San Anselmo, California. The San Francisco Bay Area is bracing for a severe storm that is expected to bring high winds and heavy rain that could topple trees and cause widespread flooding. Urban areas could see up to 6 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 10: People pick up free sandbags at the San Francisco Department of Public Works corporation yard on December 10, 2014 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Bay Area is bracing for a severe storm that is expected to bring high winds and heavy rain that could topple trees and cause widespread flooding. Urban areas could see up to 6 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 10: A man lifts sandbags that are being given away for free at the San Francisco Department of Public Works corporation yard on December 10, 2014 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Bay Area is bracing for a severe storm that is expected to bring high winds and heavy rain that could topple trees and cause widespread flooding. Urban areas could see up to 6 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 10: People pick up free sandbags at the San Francisco Department of Public Works corporation yard on December 10, 2014 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Bay Area is bracing for a severe storm that is expected to bring high winds and heavy rain that could topple trees and cause widespread flooding. Urban areas could see up to 6 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 10: A man picks up a free sandbag at the San Francisco Department of Public Works corporation yard on December 10, 2014 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Bay Area is bracing for a severe storm that is expected to bring high winds and heavy rain that could topple trees and cause widespread flooding. Urban areas could see up to 6 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Satellite view of storms on both U.S. coasts taken on Tuesday, December 9, 2014. (NOAA / NASA)
Satellite Imagery of Northern California taken by the NOAA (12/10/14)
MILL VALLEY, CA - DECEMBER 03: A Mill Valley police officer directs cars through a flooded section of roadway on December 3, 2014 in Mill Valley, California. The San Francisco Bay Area is being hit with its first major storm of the year that is bringing heavy rain, lightning and hail to the region. The heavy overnight rain has caused flooding which has blocked several roadways and caused severe traffic backups. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Satellite Imagery of Northern California taken by the NOAA (12/10/14)
A vehicle drives through a flooded street in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. Heavy rain from a powerful Pacific storm swept through California providing some relief from a three-year drought. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Satellite Imagery of Northern California taken by the NOAA (12/10/14)

Satellite Imagery of Northern California taken by the NOAA (12/10/14)

A homeless man walks under the rain downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. A second day of much-needed rain fell across drought-stricken California on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Marilyn Van Schenk stands in knee-deep water as she clears a clogged storm drain that had caused her street to flood in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. Heavy rain from a powerful Pacific storm swept through California providing some relief from a three-year drought. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
MILL VALLEY, CA - DECEMBER 03: A motorist drives through a flooded intersection on December 3, 2014 in Mill Valley, California. The San Francisco Bay Area is being hit with its first major storm of the year that is bringing heavy rain, lightning and hail to the region. The heavy overnight rain has caused flooding which has blocked several roadways and caused severe traffic backups. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MILL VALLEY, CA - DECEMBER 03: A car sits partially submerged in water on a flooded section of roadway on December 3, 2014 in Mill Valley, California. The San Francisco Bay Area is being hit with its first major storm of the year that is bringing heavy rain, lightning and hail to the region. The heavy overnight rain has caused flooding which has blocked several roadways and caused severe traffic backups. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MILL VALLEY, CA - DECEMBER 03: A cyclist rides through a flooded section of roadway on December 3, 2014 in Mill Valley, California. The San Francisco Bay Area is being hit with its first major storm of the year that is bringing heavy rain, lightning and hail to the region. The heavy overnight rain has caused flooding which has blocked several roadways and caused severe traffic backups. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 10: A San Francisco Department of Public works employee directs a line of cars waiting to enter the San Francisco DPW corporation yard to pick up free sandbags on December 10, 2014 in San Francisco, California. The San Francisco Bay Area is bracing for a severe storm that is expected to bring high winds and heavy rain that could topple trees and cause widespread flooding. Urban areas could see up to 6 inches of rain in less than 24 hours. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
In this photo provided by the National Park Service, Upper Yosemite Falls flows at full force after two days of significant rainfall Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, in Yosemite National Park, Calif. A second day of much-needed rain fell across drought-stricken California on Wednesday, but the storm had so far produced few of the problems such as flooding and mudslides that had threatened areas left barren by wildfires. (AP Photo/National Park Service)
An umbrella vendor makes his way along a soggy city street in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014. A second day of much-needed rain fell across drought-stricken California on Wednesday, but the storm so far had produced few of the problems such as flooding and mudslides that threatened areas left barren by wildfires. Residents and authorities, however, kept a cautious watch on saturated slopes as scattered showers fell in Southern California, where the heaviest torrents fell a day earlier. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
WOW!! This is the scene NOW: #Valley & #Dolores - flash flooding/blocked sewers, threaten homes! #SF #NoeValley http://t.co/cKqJXmAeIG
Flooded car under 3 feet of water in downtown San Jose. The Alameda at Stockton Ave. @CBSSF http://t.co/mkHAqILpO9
Raindrops are seen on a vehicle's window in Arcadia, California, on December 2, 2014, amid a steady and sometimes heavy rainfall soaking southern California, where despite some minor flooding and slick roads, major mudslides or debris flows that had officials and residents on high alert in recent foothill community burn areas have been avoided. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Denis Carruth collects sand bags to protect his home from possible flooding in Glendora, Calif. on Monday, Dec.1, 2014. California is bracing for the arrival of a new, more powerful Pacific storm following a weekend of scattered rain, showers and snow. The National Weather Service says a low-pressure system off the coast will draw a plume of subtropical moisture northward into the state beginning on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Richard Pope places sand bags along his driveway to protect his home from an expected storm in Glendora, Calif. on Monday, Dec.1, 2014. California is bracing for the arrival of a new, more powerful Pacific storm following a weekend of scattered rain, showers and snow. The National Weather Service says a low-pressure system off the coast will draw a plume of subtropical moisture northward into the state beginning on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
CORRECTS LOCATION TO DRIVEWAY INSTEAD OF STREET - This photo provided by the Glendora Police Department shows a driveway covered in mud in a neighborhood of the suburb of Glendora, Calif. on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Rare Southern California rains triggered mudslides in an area of the Los Angeles-area foothills scorched bare by a wildfire earlier this year. Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Robert Diaz says a 4-foot-high flow of debris hit a home in the suburb before dawn. (AP Photo/Glendora Police Department)
This photo provided by the Glendora Police Department shows work crews clear a mud flow at a home in the suburb of Glendora, Calif. on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Rare Southern California rains triggered mudslides in an area of the Los Angeles-area foothills scorched bare by a wildfire earlier this year. Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Robert Diaz says a 4-foot-high flow of debris hit a home in the suburb before dawn. (AP Photo/Glendora Police Department)
A woman walks under an umbrella on the beach at La Jolla Shores as the area braces for an approaching storm Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in San Diego. Heavy rain from a powerful Pacific storm swept through California on Tuesday, and residents in some wildfire-scarred communities scrambled to evacuate as authorities warned of mudflows from unstable hillsides. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
A woman wears an umbrella as she walks past the Staples Center Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in downtown Los Angeles. Southern California is bracing Tuesday for predicted heavy rains, bringing with it hopes of some relief from the year-long drought, and fears of mudslides in wildfire-ravaged areas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
A lone surfer makes his way into the water as storm clouds come ashore Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in San Diego. Southern California is bracing Tuesday for predicted heavy rains, bringing with it hopes of some relief from the years-long drought, and fears of mudslides in wildfire-ravaged areas. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
A woman with an umbrella walks along the shoreline in front of lifeguard towers stored for the winter on the beach at La Jolla Shores as the area braces for an approaching storm in San Diego on Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. Heavy rain from a powerful Pacific storm swept through California on Tuesday, and residents in some wildfire-scarred communities scrambled to evacuate as authorities warned of mudflows from unstable hillsides. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Trees adorned with Christmas lights are reflected on the rain-soaked street Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in downtown Los Angeles. Southern California is bracing Tuesday for predicted heavy rains, bringing with it hopes of some relief from the year-long drought, and fears of mudslides in wildfire-ravaged areas. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Palm trees along La Jolla Shores in San Diego are seen through a window covered with rain drops as the area braces for an approaching storm Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. Heavy rain from a powerful Pacific storm swept through California on Tuesday, providing some relief from a three-year drought. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Students carry an umbrellas as they walks on the University of California Berkeley campus in Berkeley, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. California is bracing for the arrival of a new, more powerful Pacific storm following a weekend of scattered rain, showers and snow. The National Weather Service says a low-pressure system off the coast will draw a plume of subtropical moisture northward into the state beginning on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
A woman carries an umbrella as she walks on the University of California Berkeley campus in Berkeley, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014. California is bracing for the arrival of a new, more powerful Pacific storm following a weekend of scattered rain, showers and snow. The National Weather Service says a low-pressure system off the coast will draw a plume of subtropical moisture northward into the state beginning on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
A man fills bags with sand from La Jolla Shores as the area braces for an approaching storm Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014, in San Diego. Heavy rain from a powerful Pacific storm swept through California on Tuesday, and residents in some wildfire-scarred communities scrambled to evacuate as authorities warned of mudflows from unstable hillsides. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
CORRECTS LOCATION TO DRIVEWAY INSTEAD OF STREET - This photo provided by the Glendora Police Department shows a driveway covered in mud in a neighborhood of the suburb of Glendora, Calif. on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Rare Southern California rains triggered mudslides in an area of the Los Angeles-area foothills scorched bare by a wildfire earlier this year. Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Robert Diaz says a 4-foot-high flow of debris hit a home in the suburb before dawn. (AP Photo/Glendora Police Department)
Work crews finish up cleaning a mud flow at a home in the suburb of Glendora, Calif. on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014. Rare Southern California rains triggered mudslides in an area of the Los Angeles-area foothills scorched bare by a wildfire earlier this year. Los Angeles County Fire Department Dispatch Supervisor Robert Diaz says a 4-foot-high flow of debris hit a home in the suburb before dawn. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
A woman walks amid a channel of running water flowing down Rainbow Drive in Glendora, California, on December 2, 2014, amid a steady and sometimes heavy rainfall soaking southern California, where despite some minor flooding and slick roads, major mudslides or debris flows that had officials and residents on high alert in recent burn areas like Glendora have been avoided. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
A man reaches out to hold an umbrella holding as a woman prepares to leap across a channel of running water flowing down Rainbow Drive in Glendora, California, on December 2, 2014, amid a steady and sometimes heavy rainfall soaking southern California, where despite some minor flooding and slick roads, major mudslides or debris flows that had officials and residents on high alert in recent burn areas like Glendora have been avoided. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Neighborhood resident Casey Tice uses a rake to help channel running water into a drain along Rainbow Drive in Glendora, California, on December 2, 2014, amid a steady and sometimes heavy rainfall soaking southern California, where despite some minor flooding and slick roads, major mudslides or debris flows that had officials and residents on high alert in recent burn areas like Glendora have been avoided. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Raindrops are seen on a vehicle's window as a woman crosses a street in Rosemead, California, on December 2, 2014, amid a steady and sometimes heavy rainfall soaking southern California, where despite some minor flooding and slick roads, major mudslides or debris flows that had officials and residents on high alert in recent foothill community burn areas have been avoided. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
A man holding an umbrella leaps across a channel of running water flowing down Rainbow Drive in Glendora, California, on December 2, 2014, amid a steady and sometimes heavy rainfall soaking southern California, where despite some minor flooding and slick roads, major mudslides or debris flows that had officials and residents on high alert in recent burn areas like Glendora have been avoided. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Neighborhood resident Casey Tice uses a rake to help channel running water into a drain along Rainbow Drive in Glendora, California, on December 2, 2014, amid a steady and sometimes heavy rainfall soaking southern California, where despite some minor flooding and slick roads, major mudslides or debris flows that had officials and residents on high alert in recent burn areas like Glendora have been avoided. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Neighborhood resident Casey Tice uses a rake to help channel running water into a drain along Rainbow Drive in Glendora, California, on December 2, 2014, amid a steady and sometimes heavy rainfall soaking southern California. Despite some minor flooding and slick roads, major mudslides or debris flows that had officials and residents on high alert in recent burn areas like Glendora have been avoided. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)
Caltrans crews work to clean up a torrent of mud and rocks covering part of State Route 91 in Orange County early Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Yorba Linda, Calif. Cars and trucks were stuck for several hours, but no injuries were reported. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A powerful storm expected to pack hurricane force winds and heavy rain triggered emergency preparations across Northern California on Wednesday, with residents gathering sand bags, crews clearing storm drains and San Francisco school officials canceling classes for the first time since 9/11.

As much as 8 inches of rain could fall on coastal mountains over a 24-hour period starting late Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

Ski resorts in the northern Sierra Nevada could get more than 2 feet of snow before the storm moves through Southern California and to the east with less strength through states including Nevada, Idaho, Arizona and New Mexico. Those states could get rain and snow, but nothing like what California is expected to experience, forecasters say.

"It's a short amount of time for that amount of water," weather service forecaster Diana Henderson said. "We are anticipating some localized flooding, maybe some downed trees and downed power lines. It could have an effect on a wide range of people."

Northern California Prepares for Biggest Storm in Years

The storm is expected to be one of the windiest and rainiest in five years and could also cause debris slides, especially in areas affected by this year's intense and widespread wildfires. Big waves are expected along the coast.

Public schools in San Francisco and Oakland and some private schools in the Bay Area planned to stay closed Thursday.

San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Richard A. Carranza said he didn't want to put students at risk, and staff absences and power outages could affect the district's ability to supervise and feed students.

Wind gusts of up to 70 mph were expected on mountain tops, creating possible blizzard conditions in the Sierra. Rain, pounding surf and gusty winds were forecast for Southern California starting Thursday evening.

The weather service issued a high-surf advisory from the Central Coast to Ventura County, saying "waves will over-top jetties and sea walls at times" and "will potentially wash into low-lying beach areas or parking lots."

In California's agricultural heartland, farmers were looking forward to the dousing after three consecutive dry years. Parts of the state have experienced above-average rainfall this year, but not enough to make much of a dent in the drought.

James McFarlane, a third-generation farmer in Fresno County, said workers would have to stop picking citrus crops during the storm, but rain this time of year makes fruit bigger, allowing it to fetch higher prices.

"If we're not getting some Mother-Nature-dictated time off out in the field, that probably means we're going to have a hard time finding surface water in the warmer months," he said.

The rain and the snow in the Sierra Nevada fills reservoirs that supply irrigation water during hot, dry months.

In San Francisco, where as much as 4 inches of rain was forecast, crews cleared storm drains and removed loose rocks from a hillside to prevent them from crashing down. Residents were advised to sweep up leaves and debris in front of their properties to prevent them from clogging drains.

"We have crews working starting tonight in 12-hour shifts," said Rachel Gordon, a spokeswoman for San Francisco's public works agency. "It will be all hands on deck."

Farther north, a series of strong weather fronts with high winds and heavy rains could lead to flooding and landslides this week in western Washington state.

The weather service expects as much as 14 inches of rain between Monday and Thursday in the Olympic Mountains west of Seattle.

Saturated soils will bring the risk of mudslides, while winds could topple trees.

High winds were also forecast in Oregon.

Also check out the this week's massive Los Angeles apartment fire:

53 PHOTOS
Los Angeles Apartment Fire
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California residents load up sandbags, brace for big storm
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 27: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (R) addresses the media outside of City Hall East on May 27, 2015 in Downtown Los Angeles, California. Garcetti discussed the arrest of Dawud Abdulwali, 56, of Los Angeles, a suspect in the Da Vinci apartment complex fire. Also pictured are Special Agent in Charge at ATF Carlos Canino (2nd L) and LAFD Chief Ralph Terrazas (3rd L). (Photo by Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, second from left, surrounded by city authorities, comments on the arrest by the Los Angeles Police Department's anti-terrorism division of a suspect on suspicion of arson, during a news conference in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 27, 2015. The arrest of Dawud Abdulwali, 56, of Los Angeles culminated a six-month investigation involving the Los Angeles Fire Department, LAPD and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. (AP Photo/Tami Abdullah)

An aerial perspective of the blaze from a distance.

Photo Credit: Lawrence

A likely unprecedented reward of $170,000 was slated to be offered in the investigation into a massive fire that destroyed an apartment complex under construction in downtown Los Angeles, officials announced Wednesday.
Los Angeles County firefighters battle a fire at an apartment building under construction next to the Harbor CA-110 Freeway in Los Angeles, early Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. The building was not occupied, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
This photo provided by Nancy Yuille shows a massive fire engulfing an apartment building construction site near downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. Crews battled two large fires in Los Angeles early Monday, including a massive one downtown that closed portions of two major freeways and blanketed the area in ash and heavy smoke. (AP Photo/Nancy Yuille)
Los Angeles County firefighters battle a fire at an apartment building under construction next to the Harbor CA-110 Freeway in Los Angeles, early Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. The building was not occupied, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas joined by other officials talks during a news conference in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. A Los Angeles arson team has been joined by federal investigators at the scorched remains of an unfinished downtown apartment complex destroyed by a raging fire that also damaged adjacent office towers. Officials said that the investigation of the early Monday blaze at the Da Vinci complex now begins in earnest and could take weeks or months because of the complexity. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
Los Angeles County firefighters battle a fire at an apartment building under construction next to the Harbor CA-110 Freeway in Los Angeles, early Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. The building was not occupied, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Los Angeles County firefighters battle a fire at an apartment building under construction next to the Harbor CA-110 Freeway in Los Angeles, early Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. The building was not occupied, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Los Angeles County firefighters battle a fire at an apartment building under construction next to the Harbor CA-110 Freeway in Los Angeles, early Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. The building was not occupied, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Los Angeles County firefighters battle a fire at an apartment building under construction next to the Harbor CA-110 Freeway in Los Angeles, early Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. The building was not occupied, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Los Angeles County firefighters battle a fire at an apartment building under construction next to the Harbor CA-110 Freeway in Los Angeles, early Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. The building was not occupied, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Los Angeles County firefighters battle a fire at an apartment building under construction next to the Harbor CA-110 Freeway in Los Angeles, early Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. The building was not occupied, the Los Angeles Fire Department reported. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Smoke filters to the sky in the early morning hours as remnants of the blaze are extinguished by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Photo Credit: Patrick Lawler

Embers raise from surrounding buildings during the downtown blaze.

Photo Credit: Mama_Cho

Fire and ember consume the skies as the quickly moving blaze consumed the building.

Photo Credit: Derrick Huey

A local fire alarm pull box on a building about 100 yards away from a raging fire that destroyed a massive apartment complex under construction is melted Monday, Dec. 8 2014, in downtown Los Angeles. It was one of two destructive early morning fires in the city. The other heavily damaged a building that houses multiple businesses in a neighborhood a couple miles away. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent chief Carlos Canino, left, talks during a news conference joined by LAFD arson investigator Frank Oglesby with his his accelerant detection dog, Major, center and Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas, right in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014. A Los Angeles arson team has been joined by federal investigators at the scorched remains of the unfinished downtown apartment complex destroyed by a raging fire on Monday that also damaged adjacent office towers. Officials said that the investigation of the blaze at the Da Vinci complex now begins in earnest and could take weeks or months because of the complexity. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
Los Angeles firefighters and state highway workers watch as an apartment building under construction smolders after a massive fire along State Route 110 that engulfed the site near downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. Crews battled two large fires in Los Angeles early Monday, including one downtown that closed portions of two major freeways and blanketed the area in ash and heavy smoke. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Early morning sunlight slants through the smoldering ruins of a seven-story apartment building under construction that was destroy by fire on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Firefighters battle a fire that destroyed a seven-story apartment building under construction on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Early morning sunlight slants through the smoldering ruins of a seven-story apartment building under construction that was destroy by fire on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Firefighters battle a fire that destroyed a seven-story apartment building under construction on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: The ruins of a seven-story apartment building under construction that was destroy by fire smolder alongside the 110 freeway on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Firefighters hose down the smoldering ruins of a seven-story apartment building under construction alongside the 110 freeway that was destroy in an early morning fire on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Aftermath of this morning's apartment fire along the 110...from above http://t.co/M3fb6UlWOf
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: A jet taking off from LAX passes a lone standing staircase in the smoldering ruins of a seven-story apartment building under construction that was destroy in an early morning fire on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Workers toss a sign over the 110 freeway that was ruined in an early morning fire that destroyed a seven-story apartment building under construction on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Northbound lanes of the 110 freeway remain closed as Firefighters battle a fire that destroyed a seven-story apartment building under construction on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Northbound lanes of the 110 freeway remain closed as firefighters battle a fire that destroyed a seven-story apartment building under construction on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning computers. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Firefighters battle a fire that destroyed a seven-story apartment building under construction on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Firefighters battle a fire that destroyed a seven-story apartment building under construction on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Firefighters battle a fire that destroyed a seven-story apartment building under construction on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
Firefighters douse the remains of a fire that destroyed an apartment complex that was under construction, in downtown Los Angeles, California, December 8, 2014. A pair of massive fires burst across the Los Angeles skyline early Monday, damaging four buildings and closing down freeways during the morning commute. No injuries were reported but the flames near a downtown freeway interchange could be seen for miles and billowing clouds of smoke closed down adjacent highways in two directions. City fire officials were unable to give an immediate cause for the blaze, which severely damaged a seven-story apartment building that was under construction. Damage to the structure appeared to be nearly total. Flames spread for a whole city block, nearly a million square feet, officials said. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Firefighters douse flames at the remains of the DaVinci apartment complex after a fire destroyed the 1 million square foot site, in Los Angeles, California, December 8, 2014. A pair of massive fires burst across the Los Angeles skyline early Monday, damaging four buildings and closing down freeways during the morning commute. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Firefighters douse the remains of a fire that destroyed an apartment complex that was under construction, in downtown Los Angeles, California, December 8, 2014. A pair of massive fires burst across the Los Angeles skyline early Monday, damaging four buildings and closing down freeways during the morning commute. No injuries were reported but the flames near a downtown freeway interchange could be seen for miles and billowing clouds of smoke closed down adjacent highways in two directions. City fire officials were unable to give an immediate cause for the blaze, which severely damaged a seven-story apartment building that was under construction. Damage to the structure appeared to be nearly total. Flames spread for a whole city block, nearly a million square feet, officials said. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Los Angeles firefighters work on putting out a massive fire along State Route 110 that engulfed an apartment building construction site near downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. Crews battled two large fires in Los Angeles early Monday, including one downtown that closed portions of two major freeways and blanketed the area in ash and heavy smoke. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
State highway workers watch as Los Angeles firefighters work to put out a massive fire along State Route 110 that engulfed an apartment building construction site near downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. Crews battled two large fires in Los Angeles early Monday, including one downtown that closed portions of two major freeways and blanketed the area in ash and heavy smoke. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Cinders from a fire cover a downtown Los Angeles office building parking lot caused from an apartment building fire under construction on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. Two raging fires in Los Angeles destroyed a massive residential complex under construction, heavily damaged another building under construction, and snarled rush hour traffic while raining ash over a large area early Monday. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
State highway workers watch as Los Angeles firefighters work to put out a massive fire along State Route 110 that engulfed an apartment building construction site near downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. Crews battled two large fires in Los Angeles early Monday, including one downtown that closed portions of two major freeways and blanketed the area in ash and heavy smoke. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Los Angeles firefighters work on putting out a massive fire along State Route 110 that engulfed an apartment building construction site near downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. Crews battled two large fires in Los Angeles early Monday, including one downtown that closed portions of two major freeways and blanketed the area in ash and heavy smoke. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Los Angeles firefighters and state highway workers watch as an apartment building under construction smolders after a massive fire along State Route 110 that engulfed the site near downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. Crews battled two large fires in Los Angeles early Monday, including one downtown that closed portions of two major freeways and blanketed the area in ash and heavy smoke. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Cinders from a fire from an apartment building under construction covers a walkway in downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. Two raging fires in Los Angeles destroyed a massive residential complex under construction, heavily damaged another building under construction, and snarled rush hour traffic while raining ash over a large area early Monday. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)
Dozens of windows are melted and shattered in a building more than 100 yards away from the site of a raging fire that destroyed a massive apartment complex under construction in downtown Los Angeles early Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. The apartment complex fire was one of two destructive early morning fires in the city. The other heavily damaged a building that houses multiple businesses in a neighborhood a couple miles away. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
A Los Angeles city firefighter examines some of dozens of melted and shattered windows on a building more than 100 yards away from the site of a raging fire that destroyed a massive apartment complex under construction in downtown Los Angeles early Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. The apartment complex fire was one of two destructive early morning fires in the city. The other heavily damaged a building that houses multiple businesses in a neighborhood a couple miles away. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Commuter traffic makes it's way along State Route 110 past the remains of an apartment building fire near downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. Crews battled two large fires in Los Angeles early Monday, including one downtown that closed portions of two major freeways and blanketed the area in ash and heavy smoke. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Commuter traffic makes it's way along State Route 110 past the remains of an apartment building fire near downtown Los Angeles on Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. Crews battled two large fires in Los Angeles early Monday, including one downtown that closed portions of two major freeways and blanketed the area in ash and heavy smoke. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
A Los Angeles city firefighter works amid the ruins of a raging fire that destroyed a massive apartment complex under construction in downtown Los Angeles early Monday, Dec. 8, 2014. It was one of two destructive early morning fires in the city. The other heavily damaged a building that houses multiple businesses in a neighborhood a couple miles away. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Firefighters battle a fire that destroyed a seven-story apartment building under construction on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Firefighters battle a fire that destroyed a seven-story apartment building under construction on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Firefighters mop up a fire that destroyed a seven-story apartment building under construction on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning commuters. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 8: Firefighters battle a fire that destroyed a seven-story apartment building under construction on December 8, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. The fire also damaged nearby high-rise buildings and shut down freeways, causing massive traffic problems for morning computers. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
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Associated Press writer Scott Smith in Fresno contributed to this report.

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