Storm brings record rain­fall, snow to South­ern Cal­i­for­nia

Texarkana Gazette - - NATION - By Amanda Lee My­ers

LOS AN­GE­LES—Crews were busy Fri­day as­sess­ing dam­age and clean­ing up af­ter a storm that brought record rain­fall to Los An­ge­les, snow­fall to north­ern el­e­va­tions, snarled traf­fic and forced evac­u­a­tions as de­bris flows hit ar­eas burned by wild­fires.

Evac­u­a­tion or­ders were ei­ther lifted or down­graded Thurs­day night and Fri­day morn­ing as the storm moved out of the area.

That in­cludes the area of Orange County’s Trabuco Creek, which over­flowed with de­bris that took down a guardrail and over­came a nar­row bridge. Work­ers need to clear out the de­bris from the bridge and in­stall a new guardrail.

Other crews were fo­cused on Mal­ibu, where a mud­slide shut down the Pa­cific Coast High­way and sur­round­ing roads in and around neigh­bor­hoods charred by wild­fire last month that de­stroyed more than 1,000 homes and killed three peo­ple.

There were no re­ported in­juries as­so­ci­ated with the mud­slide or de­bris flows and no homes were se­ri­ously dam­aged, though mul­ti­ple peo­ple had to be res­cued in Los An­ge­les, Orange, River­side and San Diego coun­ties as wa­ter over­came road­ways and at times sub­merged cars. More than 300 peo­ple liv­ing in a San Diego shel­ter had to be evac­u­ated to a sta­dium.

The storm also caused sev­eral roof col­lapses and sent an air­liner skid­ding off a run­way in Bur­bank, though no as­so­ci­ated in­juries were re­ported.

“It did cause a lot of headaches,” said Eric Boldt, a me­te­o­rol­o­gist with the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice.

He said the storm was more typ­i­cal of Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary for the re­gion and called it a win for drought-weary Los An­ge­les.

“It does put us ahead for Los An­ge­les,” he said. “It’s kind of a good start for De­cem­ber.”

The down­town area set a rain­fall record for the day with 1.9 inches of rain, nearly dou­ble the pre­vi­ous record set in 1997, the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice re­ported. Nor­mal monthly rain­fall for De­cem­ber is only a bit more—2.33 inches.

Rain­fall also broke a record in the high-desert city of Lan­caster, north­east of Los An­ge­les. That city saw 1.4 inches of rain, beat­ing the pre­vi­ous record of 1.2 inches in 1997.

Other to­tal rain­falls ex­ceeded 4.5 inches in some parts of Los An­ge­les County, in­clud­ing Avalon and the Pasadena foothills, and in San Diego County.

Some res­i­dents took ad­van­tage of the rare rainy day, with at least one man cap­tured on video surf­ing down the street as an SUV pulled him. An­other pad­dle-boarded in a wet­suit near a flooded truck in Costa Mesa.

While rain caused nu­mer­ous ac­ci­dents and back­ups on LA-area free­ways, heavy snow forced the clo­sure of In­ter­state 5 in the Grapevine area be­tween Los An­ge­les and the San Joaquin Val­ley. The hours-long shut­down along the key north-south route caused back­ups for miles.

Drivers were urged to use cau­tion on moun­tain passes, where up to 10 feet of snow fell at higher el­e­va­tions.

Pho­tos via As­so­ci­ated Press

ABOVE: A per­son feeds birds Wed­nes­day in Echo Park un­der a light rain in Los An­ge­les. A fall storm is caus­ing slick con­di­tions on South­ern Cal­i­for­nia free­ways but isn’t ex­pected to gen­er­ate enough rain to trig­ger mud­slides or de­bris flows on hill­sides charred by re­cent fires. RIGHT: A pedes­trian leaps across a flooded por­tion of the La Paz and Sev­enth streets in­ter­sec­tion as a win­ter storm ar­rived Thurs­day in Vic­torville, Calif. The sec­ond round of a fall storm dumped snow and rain that jammed traf­fic on South­ern Cal­i­for­nia high­ways and loos­ened hill­sides in wild­fire burn ar­eas on Thurs­day.

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