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Wet Weather Challenges Southland Drivers, Homeowners

VAN NUYS ( — On a day where winter rains made driving a chore in the Southland, a multi-vehicle crash in downtown Van Nuys injured eight people Sunday afternoon, include three who were reported to be critically hurt.

Los Angeles police Capt. Andy Neiman told CBS2's Greg Mills that weather was a factor in the 12:30 p.m. crash at the intersection of Vanowen Street and Van Nuys Boulevard.

"Preliminarily, it appears from witnesses and from some of the evidence at the scene that the white SUV that's behind us was traveling at an unsafe speed for the conditions of the road," Neiman said.

Five other people involved in the crash were in fair condition, and nobody suffered life-threatening injuries Neiman said. He said hydroplaning was the biggest problem on the wet roads.

Tow truck driver Greg Jefferson had a pretty busy day.

"It's been off and on, I had a couple of spin outs here and there," he said, just after helping a driver whose truck spun out exiting the 210 Freeway at La Tuna Canyon. "He was coming around the off ramp maybe a little too fast and went straight into the grass."

Vincent Juarez of San Fernando, who was getting gas before getting back on the road, said conditions on Sunday were "crazy."

Juarez said since he has gotten older he drives more defensively and a lot slower on days like this.

"I have kids, so yeah, I drive very differently," he said.

On Sunday evening, KCAL's Cristy Fajardo and Laurie Perez spoke to residents in Camarillo Springs and Silverado Canyon, respectively, about what the rains meant to them.

Homeowners in Silverado Canyon were on alert, mindful of flash flood warnings in effect until Monday morning.

The area is at high risk because almost 1,000 acres left were charred and barren following wildfires there last fall.

Levi Edney said he was keeping a watchful eye.

"It hasn't been raining that bad at all," he said.

Meanwhile, Melissa Maddy is showing some concern.

"The rain causes concerns for some very bad mudslides and rock slides," she said.

Rain had been falling a little more heavily in Camarillo Springs. There, Fajardo reported, residents were definitely worried about -- and bracing for -- the worst.

A flash flood warning was lifted in that region Sunday evening.


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