At least five persons were dead in southern California and the toll was higher in northern Mexico yesterday in the wake of an intense Pacific storm that lashed the area for two days. At least two persons were missing.
A man and woman were crushed by mudslides in Los Angeles, two boys drowned and a man drowned when his sports car was swept into a roadside wash by flood waters.
An elderly man was missing in a flooded Ventura County housing tract and a man was missing and presumed drowned near San Diego.
A Mexican government spokesman said nine to 17 persons died and as many as 22,000 were left homeless in Tijuana and Ensenada. President Jose Lopez Portillo arrived in Tijuana yesterday to meet with Gov. Roberto de la Madrid and discuss disaster relief. A total of $7.7 million had been requested just to restore essential services.
Hundreds of homes were damaged in California's Ventura and Los Angeles counties by mudslides and floods. Many were destroyed.
Seven counties had been declared disaster areas a week ago after another Pacific storm. There were indications that Ventura, and possibly other counties, might again request the disaster designation in order to get low cost federal loans to restore newly damaged property.
Officials took advantage yesterday of a few hours of clearing weather to begin desperately needed cleanup operations.
About 30 homes in the Malibu Beach area and wealthy Malibu Colony were damaged by high tides, flooding or undermining. Academy award winner Burgess Meridith had the patio of his beachside colony home sucked out to sea by high waves. Scores of college students erected a sandbag wall to save the home of television actor Larry Hagman of "I Dream of Jeannie."
The Pacific Coast Highway and other roads along nearly a 20-mile stretch were closed due to mudslides and flooding, including sections of the Hollywood and San Diego freeways.
The storm dropped 2.75 inches of rain on the Los Angeles basin in two days, bringing the total to 29.47 inches, nearly 19 inches more than normal for this time of year.
Farther east, authorities in Phoenix said the situation was stable in the metropolitan area as flood waters diminished.
City officials, however, kept a close watch on a major desert wash, which could cause home flooding again in northwest Phoenix.
National Guard units from Arizona and New Mexico continued to fly rescue missions on the Navajo reservations in northeastern Arizona where many persons were stranded by snow and mud. Crewmen in planes dropped 65-pound sacks of food to families and bales of hay for hungry livestock. CAPTION: Picture 1, In Los Angeles, rains undermined the parking lot at Queen of Angels Hospital, and the paving collapsed onto the Hollywood Freeway. No damage or injuries were reported, but the southbound lanes had to be closed. AP Picture 2, Shirtsleeved in the San Fernando Valley sunshine, workmen begin cleanup in Tarzana, where mud undermined the foundation of this house on Conchita Way and it slithered downhill to collapse in the street., United Press International, Picture 3, When Marc Miller's neighbor parked this car along the Pacific Coast Highway, the site was a dry river bed; the weekend's torrential rains changed all that., United Press International; Picture 4, Sloshing in Pacific surf, a crew tries to erect a temporary retaining wall to protect houses in Malibu, whre a residence often costs up to $400,600., Associated Press