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3 killed in California as wintery weather hits West

  • In this Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013 photo, city workers cut up and remove a tree that fell across the Skyline Boulevard during high winds in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/The Tribune, D. Ross Cameron)

OAKLAND — Three people were killed by fallen debris in blustery Northern California, roads flooded in Arizona and dozens of cars became stranded in snowy rural Nevada as winter weather barreled through the West.

A wind advisory remained in effect for much of California on Friday, with gusts up to 45 mph expected and power knocked out for tens of thousands of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers. Rain was expected to continue through Saturday morning in the desert Southwest.

The three deaths happened Thursday. A man was killed in Oakland when a power line fell to the ground and electrocuted him, according to The Contra Costa Times. Another man died in Oakland less than an hour later as he tried to avoid debris in the road. Neither man has been identified.

In Yuba County, Sherri Pesich, 52, died when part of a 30-inch tree fell on a parked car in which she was sitting, Undersheriff Jerry Read said. Another woman in the car was taken to a hospital; her condition was unknown.

The rain throughout the West led to flooding in San Bernardino County, where five homeless people were trapped by water and had to be rescued from the Santa Ana River, fire officials told the San Bernardino County Sun.

One man was clinging to a tree and had to be rescued by a sheriff's helicopter. Four other people sought higher ground on an island and were rescued by crews from the Riverside Fire Department.

Rain turned to heavy snow in higher elevations, including rural eastern Nevada's Lincoln County.

Deputies there were trying to help people after 50 of 60 cars got stranded overnight in "a long stretch of absolutely nothing," according to dispatcher Shannon Miller.

No injuries were reported, Miller said, but U.S. 93 was closed south of U.S. 6 in Ely.

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