The Latest: 2 hurt as avalanche hits California ski resort

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a storm moving through California (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

Officials at a California ski resort say an avalanche that caught five people has injured 2 people, one of them seriously.

Dozens of rescuers rushed to the scene Friday afternoon at Squaw Valley Ski Resort east of Sacramento.

Local television stations posted dramatic video of people digging out a man buried under snow.

The resort says a man was hospitalized with a serious lower body injury, another person was treated and released and three people weren’t hurt.

The resort has been closed.

The avalanche occurred a day after a snowboarder died at the resort. The man’s body was found under feet of snow Friday, the day after a blizzard packing 150-mph winds hit the Sierra Nevada.


5:15 p.m.

An avalanche has prompted the closure of the Squaw Valley ski resort in Northern California

The Placer County Sheriff’s Department tweeted Friday that it appears that all skiers and snowboarders had been accounted for,

Sheriff’s officials say the avalanche occurred at about 3 p.m.

Squaw Valley is about 110 miles (177 kilometers) east of Sacramento.


12:50 p.m.

A search and rescue team has found the body of a snowboarder who went missing in a blizzard at a Lake Tahoe ski resort.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim Friday as 42-year-old Wenyu Zhang of Rocklin, California.

The sheriff’s office says his body was located by Squaw Valley Ski Patrol members after friends reported him missing late Thursday night.

The search was suspended overnight due to high avalanche danger in the mountains where 3 feet (90 centimeters) of snow has fallen and winds were gusting to nearly 150 mph (240 kph).

The sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post that the search was aided by a tracking program that reads a computer chip or reflector that some manufacturers attach to clothing, boots or helmets.

The sheriff says Zhang was wearing a helmet when he was found at the resort south of Truckee, California. His cause of death has not been determined.


10:25 a.m.

A blizzard warning has expired but the National Weather Service says whiteout conditions are still possible around Lake Tahoe where 3 feet of snow (90 centimeters) already has fallen and winds gusting to nearly 150 mph (240 kph) shut down Interstate 80.

A winter storm warning remains in effect until 10 a.m. Saturday around Tahoe where up to another 20 inches (50 cm) of snow is possible.

Four feet (120 cm) already has fallen at Mammoth Mountain south of Yosemite National Park. A 146 mph (235 kph) gust of wind was recorded Thursday night atop Squaw Valley resort on the north end of Tahoe.

Three feet (90 cm) of snow was measured at the Mount Rose ski resort near Reno.

I-80 reopened Friday morning but chains or snow tires are required west of the California-Nevada line. School was canceled throughout the Reno-Tahoe area and state offices are closed.


9:50 a.m.

Authorities in Santa Barbara County, California, have lifted an evacuation order for communities that were at risk of debris flows from a storm.

The order affecting up to 30,000 people on portions of the county’s south coast was lifted at midmorning Friday, several hours after the worst of the rain passed.

Officials say 87 percent heeded the evacuation order issued Thursday when there was concern of a repeat of the deadly debris flows that hit the community of Montecito in January.

The storm is now moving over the greater Los Angeles area.


9:40 a.m.

Authorities in Santa Barbara County, California, say preliminary assessments show minimal impacts from a storm that raised fears of a repeat of deadly debris flows that hit during a January downpour.

Office of Emergency Management Director Rob Lewin says crews are checking roads, debris basins and utilities after the worst of the storm passed over the county’s south coast early Friday.

So far, there are no reports of damage to electrical, gas or water supply infrastructure, and the main highway, U.S. 101, remained open throughout.

On Thursday, the county ordered up to 30,000 people to evacuate areas near wildfire burn scars, and officials say 87 percent did so.


6:31 a.m.

Rain is moving across Southern California, but authorities on the south Santa Barbara County coast say there has not been a repeat of the deadly debris flows that struck during a January storm.

County spokeswoman Suzanne Grimmesey says the worst of the storm passed over early Friday and so far there are only reports of minor roadway flooding.

Officials will survey the area after sunrise, but Grimmesey says the assessments are expected to be positive.

Officials on Thursday ordered an evacuation of up to 30,000 people from communities below mountain slopes burned bare by wildfires.

On Jan. 9, a storm dropped a huge amount of rain very swiftly on Montecito, unleashing debris-laden flash floods that destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes, killed 21 people and left two missing.

The storm front continues to push into the Los Angeles region as the morning rush is underway.


11:30 p.m.

Residents of coastal Southern California neighborhoods are under evacuation orders ahead of a powerful winter storm sweeping in after bringing heavy snow and whiteout conditions to northern mountains.

As many as 30,000 people are under orders to leave Friday in foothill communities of Santa Barbara County, including areas devastated by deadly mud flows in January. Authorities didn’t know how many heeded the warnings.

To the north, a blizzard warning is in effect for parts of the Sierra Nevada, where more than a foot of snow fell Thursday, shutting down major roads. Authorities warned of high avalanche danger for the backcountry around Lake Tahoe.

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