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Hours Before Polls Close, LA County Receives Accidental Flash Flood Alert

A false warning Tuesday from the National Weather Service of a flash flood in California was retracted within 30 minutes. The agency said the alert, sent during the closing hours of polling, was sent to a larger area than intended.

“Apologies for the confusion over the flash flood warning (FFW),” the NWS Twitter account announced Tuesday. “A glitch changed the small box for the area near the Fish Fire burn scar into all of LA County just as it was sent. We cancelled it and sent the correct FFW for the small Fish burn scar.”

Fox News further reported:

The LAPD warned residents that a major storm cell was moving through the area and that residents should allow extra time for the notorious L.A. commute.

As of Wednesday morning, showers were still rotating over the region, but the weather was expected to dry out following record rainfall and deadly flooding. 

The NWS said Opids Camp in Los Angeles County measured 6.29 inches, with record rainfall recorded in Palmdale, Lancaster, Sandberg, Burbank and at Los Angeles International Airport.

Several roads were shown underwater on Tuesday in photos posted to social media and drainage systems were reportedly clogged.

The storm left one person dead and two others missing, according to the Ontario Fire Department, when a current in a canal swept six people away. 

Three others were rescued by firefighters and were being treated at a nearby hospital while crews continued to search for two others.

According to The Los Angeles Times, rescuers saved a man whose vehicle was overcome by water in the San Bernardino Mountains, and crews were also looking for a person in the Los Angeles River.

Farther north, the NWS office in Sacramento determined a tornado touched down approximately four miles north of Galt at around 1:40 p.m. local time, causing minor damage and downing power lines.

“It might seem crazy, but California actually averages 11 tornadoes per year!” the office tweeted. 

The stormy weather raised concerns about voter turnout in the midterm elections and the L.A. County registrar’s office sought to keep voters from being deterred from heading out to polls following the flash flood warning glitch, noting in a tweet that officials confirmed the flooding threat was “for a very isolated area.”

Heavy rain drenched Orange County and parts of southern California were under evacuation orders. 

In northern California, meteorologists cautioned that the heavy rainfall could lead to debris flows and flash flooding in the burn scars of the Colorado and River wildfires.

This all comes as the NWS issued a winter storm warning for the greater Lake Tahoe area due to heavy snowfall.

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