Tornado touches down in California town as destruction from onslaught of storms continues

Thursday offered a brief respite for California residents amid weeks of relentless and deadly storms.

This comes as residents were stranded or forced to evacuate due to flooding, roads and highways were closed following rock and mudslides and snow covered higher elevations.

The National Weather Service in Sacramento tweeted that, early Tuesday, a brief EF-1 tornado touched down in Milton near a small reservoir, causing “extensive tree damage.”

The twister’s maximum wind speed reached 90 mph.

CALIFORNIA BOY TOLD MOM ‘BE CALM’ BEFORE BEFORE BEING SWEPT AWAY IN FLOODING

Angeles Molina carries belongings from her flooded Merced, Calif., home on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. Following days of rain, Bear Creek overflowed its banks leaving dozens of homes and vehicles in the neighborhood surrounded by floodwaters.
((AP Photo/Noah Berger))

Although no injuries or deaths were reported from the tornado, the death toll from prior storms continued to rise.

At least 18 deaths were reported in association with the hazardous weather conditions, although Gov. Gavin Newsom cautioned Tuesday that the figure was likely to rise.

A person sits under an umbrella on a rainy street corner in San Francisco, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023. Storm-ravaged California is scrambling to clean up and repair widespread damage.
((AP Photo/Jeff Chiu))

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said a 43-year-old woman was found dead Wednesday in her submerged car a day after calling 911 to say the vehicle was stuck in floodwaters north of San Francisco.

Divers discovered the car under about 10 feet of water off a rural road close to Forestville.

A person looks north from Grand View Park in San Francisco, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023.
((AP Photo/Jeff Chiu))

CALIFORNIA WEATHER: STATE BRACES FOR MORE LIFE-THREATENING RAIN AS STORM DEATH TOLL RISES

Meanwhile, the search continues for 5-year-old Kyle Doan, who is missing after he was ripped away from his mother by floodwaters.

Over half of California’s 58 counties were declared disaster areas.

Wind damage is seen on Highland Avenue in Santa Cruz, Calif., Tuesday evening, Jan. 10, 2023.
((Shmuel Thaler/The Santa Cruz Sentinel via AP))

More wet weather is forecast to soak areas already damaged by atmospheric rivers, with impacts felt through next week.

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According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, updated Thursday, nearly all of the state has been removed from the extreme drought category.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.