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‘Endless storms’ leave 16 dead in California

Relentless storms hit California again on Tuesday, in the latest episode of extreme weather that has left 16 dead and wreaked havoc across large areas of the US state.

Torrential rains caused flash floods, closed highways, toppled trees and washed away motorists and passengers, including a five-year-old boy who remained missing in central California.

More rain and snow are expected for the most populous US state. About 160,000 businesses and homes in California were without electricity on Tuesday, according to the tracking website

The National Weather Service (NWS) described the phenomenon as “an endless onslaught of events borne out of an atmospheric river”, the most powerful storm system since 2005.

The small town of Montecito, home to Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, was hit by several inches of rain, which increased the risk of dangerous landslides. Authorities in the municipality have ordered the evacuation of all people.

The town, which is home to luxury properties, is especially vulnerable to landslides as it sits at the foot of a mountainous area destroyed by fire five years ago.

Former TV presenter Ellen DeGeneres posted a video on Twitter showing a churning river with muddy water. “This is crazy,” she said.

It was unclear how many of the area’s residents, including Larry David, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry and Rob Lowe, would have heeded the evacuation call.

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