West Coast hit hard by 'Pineapple Express' storm

  • A woman watches waves roll in near a damaged house in Washaway Beach, Wash., Dec. 11, 2014 as a Pacific winter storm hits the western United States. The same storm lashed northern and central California on Thursday with heavy rain and high winds, knocking out electricity to tens of thousands of homes, disrupting commercial flights and prompting school closures in the San Francisco Bay area. 
  • A car and shopping cart are submerged in water at a flooded shopping center, 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. 
  • A rope does little to keep an old log, which was once located under a paved road, from being consumed by the Pacific Ocean in Washaway Beach, Wash., Dec. 11, 2014 as a Pacific winter storm hits the western United States. The same storm lashed northern and central California on Thursday with heavy rain and high winds, knocking out electricity to tens of thousands of homes, disrupting commercial flights and prompting school closures in the San Francisco Bay area. 
  • In this photo provided by the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District, a toppled tree nearly hits a prominent statue in front of the Saint Theresa Catholic Church in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., Dec. 11, 2014. High winds ahead of a powerful Pacific storm swept through South Lake Tahoe. Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District Fire Marshal Eric Guevin said the church was damaged, but no one was injured.
  • Water covers one of several vehicles stranded in an Ashby Ave. in Berkeley, Calif., 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.
  • People use kayaks and a canoe to make their way around a flooded parking lot at a shopping center, 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. 
  • The Golden Gate Bridge is seen through a rain covered windshield on Dec. 11, 2014 in Larkspur, Calif. The San Francisco Bay Area is being hit with a severe storm that is bringing high winds and heavy rain that have toppled trees and caused local flooding.
  • The roof of a car is visible as it sits underwater in a flooded section of Ashby Avenue on Dec. 11, 2014 in Berkeley, Calif. The San Francisco Bay Area is being hit with a severe storm that is bringing high winds and heavy rain that have toppled trees and caused local flooding. 
  • This photo provided by the Placer County Sheriff shows waves pounding a dock in Lake Tahoe, Calif., 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. 
  • A home balances on the remains of its foundation in Washaway Beach, Wash., Dec. 11, 2014 as a Pacific winter storm hits the western United States. The same storm lashed northern and central California on Thursday with heavy rain and high winds, knocking out electricity to tens of thousands of homes, disrupting commercial flights and prompting school closures in the San Francisco Bay area. 

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Updated

A dangerous storm system slammed into Oregon, Washington, and California this week, drenching the region, triggering mudslides, and leading to evacuations. 

The storm system — dubbed “Pineapple Express” because of its origins as moisture carried in a current from Hawaii — is bringing much needed precipitation to the drought-ridden state, but leaving destruction in its wake. By early Friday morning on the West Coast, the storm had reached the Los Angeles area, according to the Associated Press.

Two people in Oregon were killed due to falling trees. Others in Washington and California were injured from debris. More than 160,000 power outages were reported along the coast and hundreds of residents were evacuated in California, primarily in Glendora, where wildfires had stripped foothills bare of erosion-preventing brush and trees, and Sonoma County, which is situated on lower elevations near the Russian River.

In coastal areas, high winds are expected. In the Bay Area, including San Francisco, torrential downpours caused flash flooding as residents in boats paddled through flooded streets and parking lots. On the Golden Gate Bridge — which is designed to swing in crosswinds — a buffer zone was created to prevent collisions when cars swerved.

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