South­land high­ways re­open af­ter heavy snow

Antelope Valley Press - - News -

LOS AN­GE­LES (AP) — Ma­jor in­ter­states re­opened in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia on Friday af­ter lengthy clo­sures caused by a cold storm that drenched the re­gion and blan­keted moun­tains and desert ar­eas with heavy snow.

The no­to­ri­ous Grapevine sec­tion of In­ter­state 5 in tow­er­ing Te­jon Pass north of Los An­ge­les was fi­nally opened af­ter a 36hour clo­sure forced by dan­ger­ous con­di­tions that set in Christ­mas night.

Ve­hi­cles were be­ing es­corted in both di­rec­tions by Cal­i­for­nia High­way Pa­trol units.

The storm had largely de­parted by Thurs­day evening but cold air re­mained. The CHP said the clo­sure con­tin­ued into Friday be­cause overnight tem­per­a­tures fell into sin­gle dig­its and miles of road­way froze.

In the in­land re­gion to the east, the Ca­jon Pass sec­tion of In­ter­state 15 re­opened af­ter be­ing closed for many hours. The ma­jor route for travel be­tween greater Los An­ge­les and Las Ve­gas also re­opened in the Mo­jave Desert af­ter a lengthy shut­down be­tween Baker, Cal­i­for­nia, and Primm, Ne­vada.

Adding to the traf­fic mis­ery, ac­ci­dents caused mas­sive morn­ing back­ups on the icy 14 Free­way, a ma­jor com­muter route be­tween the high desert and Los An­ge­les. Other high desert routes had sim­i­lar prob­lems.

The Na­tional Weather Ser­vice said the cold low pres­sure sys­tem that brought the heavy rain and snow to South­ern Cal­i­for­nia was over Ari­zona and mov­ing east. Rainand snow made roads and high­ways slick in a broad area stretch­ing from Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon in the north to South­east­ern Ari­zona, in­clud­ing the desert along In­ter­state 10 east of Ben­son.

In Cal­i­for­nia, I-5 rises to more than 4,100 feet in Te­jon Pass be­tween Los An­ge­les and the San Joaquin Val­ley, mak­ing it sus­cep­ti­ble to storm clo­sures, es­pe­cially on the steep sec­tion known as the Grapevine.

Ca­jon Pass rises to more than 3,700 feet be­tween the San Gabriel and San Bernardino moun­tains on I-15, which also car­ries com­muter traf­fic in ad­di­tion to peo­ple trav­el­ing be­tween south­ern Ne­vada and South­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s cities.

Mois­ture wrap­ping around the low con­tin­ued to bring some snow show­ers in the moun­tains in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia but that was ex­pected to end.

Dry and warmer weather was ex­pected in South­ern Cal­i­for­nia through most of the week­end. Another cold, low-pres­sure sys­tem was fore­cast to bring pre­cip­i­ta­tion late Sun­day through Mon­day be­fore a dry­ing trend sets in on New Year’s Eve.

Highs today in the An­te­lope Val­ley will be in the mid-40s, with a chance of freez­ing fog in the morn­ing. Lows will be in the mid-20s to lower 30s.

As­so­ci­ated Press

Snow cov­ers Mount Baldy in the San Gabriel Moun­tains on Friday. A win­ter storm brought a del­uge of rain and snow to South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, shut­ting down In­ter­state 5 in Te­jon Pass through the moun­tains and dozens of miles of In­ter­state 15 from Baker to Primm, Ne­vada.

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