Los Angeles -- Half a dozen southern California counties are under an emergency declaration Wednesday as another powerful storm from the Pacific pummels the region.
The declaration from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger warns of a forecast that calls for "extraordinary and continuing rainfall" that is likely to cause more flooding and landslides in the region and authorizes state assistance for local authorities.
The proclamation covers Kern, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo and Tulare counties in southern California.
"We're preparing for what we expect to be a very heavy, severe rainstorm ..." said Mike Kaspar with Los Angeles County Public Works. "In the worst case senario, we could be looking at as much as 8 inches more of rain in the southern California area,"
Storm-weary Californians on Tuesday slogged through another day of record-breaking snow, rain and flooding from a series of storms that prompted an emergency declaration from the state's governor.
The five-day rain total has topped 10 inches in many areas, with much heavier amounts in some locales. More than 21 inches have fallen on Twin Peaks in San Bernardino county, with Twin Creek receiving nearly 20 inches.
In Los Angeles County, meanwhile, authorities ordered the evacuation of more than 230 homes in two neighborhoods out of fear of debris flows.
But in southwestern Utah, a dam that authorities had feared was in imminent danger of giving way to floodwaters was found to be in stronger condition than previously believed, said Marc Mortensen, a spokesman for Washington County.
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The roughly 800 residents of the towns of Virgin and Rockville were allowed to return to their homes Tuesday night, Mortensen said. Engineers will monitor the dam, located on the Virgin River, and conduct more tests on Wednesday, when high water flows are expected again, he said.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said he was prepared to declare a state of emergency in the south, where floodwaters also washed out at least one bridge. But as of Tuesday afternoon, Utah officials said the required benchmarks for an emergency declaration had not been reached, and Herbert hadn't received a request from local authorities to issue one.
"We are closely monitoring the activity in southern Utah, and praying for the safety of all of the area's residents," Herbert said in a statement.
In Southern California, where the car is king, a record number of motorists called their local AAA to report dead batteries, a need for emergency tows and crashed vehicles, said spokesman Jeffrey Spring of the Automobile Club of Southern California.
More than 25,000 distraught motorists made calls for help on Monday, the largest number ever in a 24-hour period for the AAA's largest U.S. affiliate, Spring said.
"We're in Southern California, and we don't have a lot of experience driving in the rain, and some people drive through high puddles not realizing what kind of effect it can have on a car," Spring said. "If the engine gets splashed and gets wet, it can stop the car right there."
Spring said AAA was "able to serve the majority of members in 30 minutes," although he added, "I'm sure there were a number of people who had to wait longer than that."
Monday's call volume surpassed the prior record of about 22,000 on October 9, 2008, when a heat wave and the scorching Santa Ana winds disabled many automobiles, Spring said. Monday's weather -- torrential rains -- had opposite conditions, he said.
"Batteries are fickle things if they're not at full strength," Spring said. "Hot weather can affect them and weather like this."
Deborah Craigo, 39, who lives in the Mojave Desert community of Hesperia, California, said monsoon conditions have inundated the arid landscape.
Fire stations are even offering sandbags to residents who want to shore up defenses to their homes, said Craigo, who is a CNN iReporter.
"It's been raining from two days ago and it just has not stopped. They closed a lot of the roads down," said Craigo, a mother and college student. "It's pretty bad now. We have a riverbed in back of our house, and two days ago it was completely bone dry. And then within two days the riverbed is completely full."
The series of storms are originating in the Pacific are known as the "Pineapple Express" because of their origin near the Hawaiian Islands. They have brought heavy snow to the higher elevations, with torrential rainfall in lower spots and high winds. Total rainfall has approached 10 inches in some areas.
Numerous roads were closed because of mudslides or flooding.
High winds also whipped much of the state, particularly at high elevations. Peak wind gusts reached 152 mph in Alpine Meadows summit in northern California, the weather service reported.
Mudslides forced officials to close a portion of State Route 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, in Ventura County, according to the California Department of Transportation. The Pacific Coast Highway was also closed north of Santa Barbara due to flooding.
A mudslide also closed a portion of State Route 41 in San Luis Obispo County. A stretch of State Route 34 in the Oxnard area was closed because of flooding.
The danger of mudslides will probably intensify, CNN meteorologist Ivan Cabrera said.