LOCAL CALIFORNIA

Forecasters said the weekend storm was the strongest in several years. It set new rainfall records on Sunday and caused widespread flooding after several hours of sustained, pouring rain.

Key info

  • Rain will continue today, though it's likely to be less intense than it was over the weekend
  • The city of Duarte has issued evacuation orders for residents living in the areas burned last summer by the Fish fire in the San Gabriel Mountains near Azusa.
  • Santa Clarita issued notices for about 120 homes in the vicinity of last summer’s Sand fire.
  • Evacuations were also ordered in burn areas in Silverado Canyon in Orange County and parts of Santa Barbara County.

Iconic Pioneer Cabin tree is no more after huge storm

The toll from the powerful winter storm rolling through Northern California included one of Calaveras County's oldest residents, a giant sequoia called the Pioneer Cabin.

The tree, named for the tunnel that had been carved into its broad base 137 years ago, was located in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park and toppled Sunday.

"We lost an old friend today," wrote county resident Jim Allday, who posted a picture of the fallen titan on his Facebook page.

His photos show the tree trunk splintered heavily at its base.

Visitors could once drive through the tree, but it was most recently open only to hikers along a 1.5-mile loop.

The giant sequoias in the state park — the tallest of which is 250 feet — are estimated to be more than 1,000 years old.

"This iconic and still living tree — the tunnel tree — enchanted many visitors. The storm was just too much for it," the Calaveras Big Trees Assn. said on its Facebook page.

The Calaveras Big Trees State Park is located northeast of Angels Camp.

John Muir, the famous naturalist, once described the forest that is protected by Calaveras Big Trees State Park: "A flowering glade in the very heart of the woods, forming a fine center for the student, and a delicious resting place for the weary."

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