Monster storm could dump whopping 4 inches of rain on downtown L.A.

Live updates: Strongest storm in years moves through L.A. area

Feb. 18, 2017, 5:19 p.m.

The strongest storm to hit Southern California in several years has brought torrential rain, flash flooding and powerful winds to the area.

The storm broke rain records at several locations . An estimated 50,000 Los Angeles residents are without power after winds took down trees and utility lines. Amtrak suspended service between San Luis Obispo and Los Angeles because of mudslides in the Santa Barbara area.

Feb. 17, 2017, 6:07 a.m. Monster storm could dump record-setting rain across Southern California Joseph Serna

What forecasters say may be the strongest storm in years could dump record-setting rain across Southern California and Los Angeles.

The storm, part of a warm “atmospheric river,” is swollen with moisture and poised to pour rain onto burn-scarred areas in local mountains and foothills.

“It’s arriving now. It’s on our doorsteps,” meteorologist Kurt Kaplan of  the National Weather Service said just before 6 a.m. “It will be in Ventura in an hour … in Los Angeles probably during rush hour.”

Between two and six inches of rain can be expected to fall over the next 24 hours, depending on the area, with some seeing rainfall at a pace of an inch an hour -- the kind of isolated, heavy downpour that can send mud and debris flows cascading into neighborhood streets.

“This will be the worst we’ve had in a while,” Kaplan said. “Today is the worst of it.”

High surf and high winds are also forecast.

Ventura could see five inches or rain, forecasters said, and Pasadena nearly that amount. Voluntary evacuations were issued for Ventura County early Friday.

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