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California Storms Knock Out Power, Closes Ski Resorts

A fierce arctic storm is pounding California today with heavy rain, whipping winds and threats to drench mudslide-prone canyons already charred by wildfire.

Authorities are warning truckers driving in blizzard-like conditions over mountain passes in the Sierra Nevada to hunker down, and some ski resorts closed because of hazardous conditions.

Winds howled in the mountain areas, gusting up to 85 miles an hour, and in the Sacramento Valley, gusts topped 65 miles an hour, the strongest in a decade.

The California Highway Patrol is encouraging drivers to stay off the roads.

Power was knocked out to hundreds of thousands of residents across Northern California, from the Bay Area to the Central Valley.

In Southern California, the national Weather Service says the storm is gathering strength off the coast and is expected to strike the region by mid-afternoon.

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