Motorists in the Northern California town of Fairfield had to deal with flash floods on Sunday as a powerful storm drenched communities in the region that were already scarred from devastating wildfires.
The so-called "bomb cyclone" of rain and wind created mudslides and brought down electric lines. The weather whiplash follows the busiest wildfire season in California history and heightened threats of flash flooding.
Much of the region is in severe, extreme or exceptional drought, as classified by the US Drought Monitor.
Fairfield is is about halfway between San Francisco and the state capital, Sacramento.
Winds over 50 miles per hour (80 kilometres) gusted through San Francisco and triggered power outages around Sacramento, where residents tweeted photographs of toppled utility poles smashing cars and blocking roadways and as much as 5 inches of rain was predicted.
Sandbags were being handed out and evacuation centers were opened in Sacramento. The Sacramento Office of Emergency Service tweeted "Remember - never drive through standing water! Turn around, don't drown!"
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