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  1. ITV Report

At least three dead as storm batters southern California

A tree was toppled onto a carport in the storm in Goleta. Credit: Mike Eliason/Santa Barbara County Fire Department via AP

A powerful Pacific storm has left three people dead in California as winds of more than 70mph downed power lines and trees, and some areas of the state received up to 10 inches of rain.

One of the victims, a 55-year-old man, was electrocuted when a falling tree downed power lines which hit his car in Los Angeles, while a second victim was found dead in a submerged vehicle in nearby San Bernardino County.

A man struggles along a pier in Huntingdon Beach. Credit: AP

Homes were evacuated in some areas due to the potential for mudslides and debris flows, while more than 300 flights to and from Los Angeles International Airport were delayed or cancelled.

In the Sherman Oaks area of LA a sinkhole swallowed two cars, the second on live TV, as viewers watched it teeter on the edge before plunging in.

Firefighters rescued one person from the first car, while the driver of the second managed to get out before it fell in. No-one was injured.

In the desert town of Victorville, several cars were washed down a flooded street.

A helicopter rescued one person from the roof of a car but another motorist was found dead in a submerged vehicle, San Bernardino County fire spokesman Eric Sherwin said.

Storm clouds over the Hollywood Freeway in Los Angeles. Credit: AP