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Storm Brings Much-Needed Rain To Southern California

A woman walks under an umbrella on the beach at La Jolla Shores on Tuesday in San Diego.

Rain has been falling on Southern California.

That's news because the region is now into its fourth year of drought — the worst in centuries — so when the skies finally opened up on Tuesday, the world took notice.

The New York Times reports:

"No matter that the storm was supposed to last only one day: The simple, if unfamiliar, act of grasping for umbrellas, turning on windshield wipers and jumping over puddles set off a combination of celebration and chaos.

" 'I just love it,' said Ed Shaw, 64, a contractor in Los Angeles, who was enjoying what on the East Coast might be known as a snow day. 'It's at the top of the list of the things we need.' "

The Los Angeles Register is less kind in its assessment, saying the storm is bringing rain and big mud but "small relief."

The 2 inches or so that are expected to finish falling today have already prompted warnings of mudslides and led to evacuation orders, but the rain will get the area only "a small step closer to average," the paper reports.

The Los Angeles Times welcomed the "drop in the [drought] bucket" with an editorial that told its readers to enjoy the rain — but to also think about the city's future.

"If we plan and invest wisely now, local rains in future years can become a bigger part of our hedge against water shortages," the editorial board writes.

CBS News notes that the rain snarled traffic and forced a voluntary evacuation in Orange County. The network reports:

"Residents worked together to evacuate large animals, and those who chose not to evacuate were gathering in the tiny town's lone cafe to wait out the rain and keep warm.

" 'We have to take this seriously because we don't know what's going to happen,' longtime resident Connie Nelson said. 'We'll just deal with it as it comes. We take care of people up here.' "

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