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World/National News

March 2, 2014

Around the World and Nation

(Continued)

Saturated slopes worry California cities as storm threat lingers; rain, snow moving eastward

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Saturated mountainsides loomed over foothill communities yesterday as a storm centered off California rotated bands of rain into a state that sorely needs the moisture but not at such dangerously high rates.

Evacuation orders remained in effect for hundreds of homes in Los Angeles County foothill communities where fires have burned away vegetation that holds soil in place, and bursts of rain caused the mountains to belch occasional debris flows.

The storm marked a sharp departure from many months of drought that has grown to crisis proportions for the state’s vast farming industry. However, such storms would have to become common to make serious inroads against the drought, weather forecasters have said.

Officials warned that despite lengthy lulls, more heavy downpours are expected, and they urged residents who left their homes as much as three days earlier to be patient.

“These mountains are now saturated and soaked. We know where the mud’s gonna go, we just don’t how much and what the intensity is going to be,” Assistant Chief Steve Martin of the Los Angeles County Fire Department told a webcast news conference.

How an uneducated boy in rural Mexico became the world’s most powerful drug lord

It was nighttime in May of 1990, in the heyday of the cocaine boom across America. Twenty Mexican federal police officers and a handful of U.S. Customs agents, acting on a tip, descended on a stucco home on the edge of Agua Prieta, Mexico — a stone’s throw from Arizona. “Policia,” they yelled, guns drawn, before busting down the front door.

The house was empty but looked lived in, with dishes in the kitchen and toys in the backyard. The officers moved quickly to a spacious game room, complete with a bar and a pool table, set atop a 10-by-10 foot concrete panel on the floor.

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