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President Joe Biden says the nation's prayers are with two California cities where 18 people were killed in separate mass shootings over the last week. Biden says the people of both communities will forever be affected by the shootings and the nation has to “be there” for them. He led a moment of silence in their honor during a Lunar New Year reception Thursday at the White House. On Sunday, a gunman killed 11 people at a ballroom dance hall in Monterey Park. Seven other people were killed on Monday in Half Moon Bay when another gunman opened fire at two mushroom farms.

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A powerful storm system took aim at the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, spawning a tornado that caused damage east of Houston. The National Weather Service said that a “large, extremely dangerous and potentially deadly tornado” was on the ground near Baytown, about 25 miles east of Houston. The storm damaged commercial buildings, homes and power lines in nearby Pasadena, a city southeast of Houston. Several vehicles, including a trailer, were damaged or flipped over in a parking lot. There were no immediate reports of injuries. The storm system was also bringing snow and ice to much of the central U.S.

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Officials say an agricultural worker killed seven people in back-to-back shootings at two mushroom farms that employed him in Northern California, and the massacre is believed to be a “workplace violence incident.” The state is mourning its third mass killing in eight days. Officers arrested a suspect in the latest shootings on Monday, 66-year-old Chunli Zhao, after they found him in his car in the parking lot of a sheriff’s substation. The Sheriff's Office says seven people were found dead, and an eighth was wounded, at the farms on the outskirts of the coastal community of Half Moon Bay.

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President Joe Biden walked along the splintered boardwalk of a California beach town Thursday and heard from business owners struggling to repair damage to their shops after storms caused devastation across the region and killed more than 20 people statewide. Biden toured a gutted seafood restaurant and the badly flooded Paradise Beach Grille, not far from the collapsed Capitola Pier and brightly painted pink, orange and teal shops that were all boarded up following the storms. Walls were crumbling, debris was scattered everywhere and the floors had been swept away by raging waters.

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A new study says drenchings like those California has been getting since Christmas will only get wetter and nastier with climate change. Already more than 32 trillion gallons of rain and snow have fallen on California. But Thursday's new study says in a worst-case climate change scenario that could grow by another one-third. That's because a warmer world alters what goes on in storms and makes the rain and snow fall harder at its peak and grows the area it falls on. But this study uses a worst-case scenario the world is not quite on track for at the moment.

Despite desperate pleas from California Gov. Gavin Newsom about the dangers of extreme weather, and weeks of advance warnings from meteorologists, the relentless series of storms drenching California has already claimed more lives than the death toll from the past two years of wildfires.

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The ninth in a three-week series of major winter storms is churning through California. Mountain driving remains dangerous and flooding risk is high near swollen rivers, even as the sun has come out in some areas. Heavy snow continues to fall across the Sierra. The National Weather Service is discouraging travel. A barrage of atmospheric river storms has dumped rain and snow on California since late December, cutting power to thousands, swamping roads, unleashing debris flows, and triggering landslides. President Joe Biden will travel to California’s central coast on Thursday to visit areas that have been impacted by the extreme weather.

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Stunned residents tried to salvage belongings as rescue crews pulled survivors from the aftermath of a deadly tornado-spawning storm system that killed at least nine people in Georgia and Alabama. The widespread destruction came into view a day after the storms flipped mobile homes into the air, sent uprooted trees crashing through buildings, snapped trees and utility poles and derailed a freight train. Those who emerged with their lives gave thanks as they searched the wreckage to find anything worth saving. The National Weather Service said suspected tornado damage was reported in at least 14 counties in Alabama and 14 in Georgia.

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Experts say a natural La Nina weather pattern, unusually warm moist air juiced by climate change, and long-term shift in where tornadoes hit all are factors in Thursday's devastating tornado in Alabama. Meteorologists say La Nina changes the jet stream so storm patterns are more favorable. But those patterns need moisture. Alabama Thursday was twice as moist as it normally was. That moist air was thanks to a Gulf of Mexico that was hotter than normal. Add in the mix that tornadoes are forming more often in the East and less in the Great Plains. There are more people and more poverty where the tornadoes now hit.

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Experts say a natural La Nina weather pattern, unusually warm moist air juiced by climate change, and long-term shift in where tornadoes hit all are factors in Thursday's devastating tornado in Alabama. Meteorologists say La Nina changes the jet stream so storm patterns are more favorable. But those patterns need moisture. Alabama Thursday was twice as moist as it normally was. That moist air was thanks to a Gulf of Mexico that was hotter than normal. Add in the mix that tornadoes are forming more often in the East and less in the Great Plains. There are more people and more poverty where the tornadoes now hit.

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A giant, swirling storm system billowing across the South has killed at least six people in central Alabama and one in Georgia and spawned a tornado that shredded the walls of homes, toppled roofs and uprooted trees in Selma. The emergency management director in Autauga County, Alabama, says he can confirm six fatalities scattered across multiple homes in the Old Kingston community. The director says at least 12 people have been injured severely enough to be taken to hospitals. He says some destroyed homes have yet to be searched. In Jackson, Georgia, a passenger in a vehicle died when a tree fell on it during the storm.

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Storm-ravaged California is scrambling to clean up and repair widespread damage. A new storm gaining strength Wednesday is expected to be limited to the north while the south gets a break. That will be followed by two more storms this weekend and next week. Crews are working to reopen roads closed by rockslides, swamped by flooding or smothered with mud.  More than half of California’s 58 counties were declared disaster areas. At least 18 people have died in storms since late December.

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The series of storms that have struck California have poured water on a state mired in a years-long drought. Experts say the precipitation will help relieve the drought somewhat. Exactly how much isn’t clear yet and some areas of the state will benefit more than others. It will take more than a few storms to fill the biggest reservoirs. Plus, climate change is making California drier and hotter. Officials see less water in the state’s future, and these storms won’t fix that long-term problem.

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Sinkholes swallowed cars and floodwaters swamped towns and swept away a small boy as California deals with more wild winter weather. Millions of people were under flood warnings, and more than 110,000 homes and businesses were without power because of heavy rains, hail and landslides. Thousands have been ordered to evacuate their homes. State officials say at least 17 people have died from storms that began late last month. Meanwhile, the next system in a powerful string of storms loomed on the horizon Tuesday.

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Rescuers have ended the search for a 5-year-old boy who was swept away by floodwaters in central California Monday morning. Meanwhile, the entire coastal community of Montecito was ordered evacuated as California residents grappled with flooding and mudslides in the latest in a series of powerful storms. Tens of thousands of people remained without power, and some schools closed for the day. The evacuation order came on the fifth anniversary of a mudslide that killed 23 people and destroyed more than 100 homes in Montecito. Streets and highways transformed into gushing rivers, trees toppled, mud slid and motorists growled as they hit roadblocks caused by fallen debris.

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California was hit with more turbulent weather as thunderstorms, snow and damaging winds swept into the northern part the state. Sunday's system preceded another series of incoming storms this week that raised the potential for flooding, rising rivers and mudslides on soils already saturated after days of rain. In the state capital, more than 60,000 customers — down from more than 350,000 — were without electricity after gusts topping 60 mph knocked down power lines. A major highway in the eastern Sierra was closed because of whiteout conditions. The storms won’t be enough to officially end California’s ongoing drought, but they have helped.

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A Mississippi environmental regulator has denied claims that the state agency he leads discriminated against the capital city of Jackson in allocating federal funds. The regulator says he believes an ongoing civil rights investigation into the matter is politically motivated. Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director wrote to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that the NAACP has “failed to allege a single fact to support” its argument. The EPA announced in October that it was investigating whether Mississippi state agencies discriminated against the state’s majority-Black capital city by refusing to fund improvements to the city's water system.

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Damaging winds and heavy rains in California have knocked out power to tens of thousands, caused flash flooding and contributed to the deaths of at least two people. Authorities warned residents Thursday to hunker down at home in anticipation of flooded roads, toppled trees and other risks. The storm is the latest in a series of what are known as atmospheric rivers to hit California. Those are long plumes of moisture stretching far over the Pacific. This one was a so-called Pineapple Express originating near Hawaii and pulled toward the West Coast by a rotating area of rapidly falling air pressure known as a bomb cyclone.

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Officials in California have ordered evacuations in a high-risk coastal area where mudslides killed 23 people in 2018 as a huge storm barrels through the state. The storm is bringing high winds and rain that threaten widespread flooding and have knocked out power to more than 100,000 people. Most of the San Francisco Bay Area will remain under flood warnings into late Thursday night. In Southern California, the storm is expected to peak in intensity overnight into early Thursday morning. Hundreds of people have been told to evacuate in part of Santa Barbara County where mudslides killed 23 people in 2018.

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Officials in California have ordered evacuations in a high-risk coastal area where mudslides killed 23 people in 2018 as a huge storm barrels through the state. The storm is bringing high winds and rain that threaten widespread flooding and have knocked out power to more than 100,000 people. Most of the San Francisco Bay Area will remain under flood warnings into late Thursday night. In Southern California, the storm is expected to peak in intensity overnight into early Thursday morning. Hundreds of people have been told to evacuate in part of Santa Barbara County where mudslides killed 23 people in 2018.

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