LOS ANGELES - If six days of pounding rain wasn't enough to dampen holiday spirits, a seventh could prove to be downright dangerous. Forecasters expected heavy rains across California going into today, while authorities kept a close eye on the first sign of mudslides in the wildfire-scarred foothills across the southern part of the state.
So far, the inconveniences have been relatively minor: Rescuers had to pluck some stranded motorists from rain-swollen creeks. Shoppers dodged puddles while buying last-minute Christmas gifts. Disney resorts canceled a plan to shower visitors with artificial snow.
"We'll keep our fingers crossed, but the more rain that comes, the possibility of mudslides is definitely real," said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County sheriff's office, which has rescued nine people from the flooding in the past 24 hours.
"We've been lucky so far."