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Feb 1, 6:32 PM EST

Powerful winds persist as winter storm lashes California

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Powerful winds lashed Southern California on Monday at the tail end of a winter storm that also brought heavy rain and mountain snow.

Interstate 5 leading in and out of northern Los Angeles County was briefly shut before dawn because of blowing snow and icy road conditions, the California Highway Patrol said.

To the north, Interstate 80 near Truckee was closed for more than two hours Sunday after at least 40 vehicles got into a pileup amid snowy conditions. No injuries were reported.

Flooding created an ice dam that forced the closure of a mountain road, cutting off several hundred residents of Serene Lakes, a community in the Donner Summit area of the Sierra Nevada, Nevada County officials said.

Wind advisories remained in place in Southern California a day after strong gusts downed trees and power poles and ripped off rooftops - and in one case, solar panels - across the region. A motorist was killed Sunday when a tree fell on his car in San Diego County.

The heavy rain mostly moved out overnight, but snow was still expected in areas as low as 2,000 feet. Higher elevations could see as much as a foot of snow.

Wind gusts Sunday topped 50 mph in the San Diego area and 65 mph in Malibu, according to the National Weather Service. The highest reading of the day was at Whitaker Peak, north of Castaic, where a gust was recorded at 115 mph.

The storm dropped more than an inch of rain in some places.

Power outages affecting about 140,000 utility customers were reported across the Los Angeles and San Diego area - but service was restored to most customers early Monday.

Dried out palm fronds, tree branches and other debris fell on power lines during the storm.

The storm also churned up high surf along west and northwest-facing beaches. The rough seas prompted authorities to briefly close the piers at Redondo Beach and Manhattan Beach.

In San Diego, the high winds caused damage to several boats. A catamaran was smashed and several boats submerged.

Fred Minters told KFMB (http://bit.ly/1SUhjQ7 ) he was recovering in the hospital from a tracheotomy when he spotted his damaged boat on television.

Minters said he lived in the vessel and that it contained all his belongings.

"I'm at a loss of what to do," he said.

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