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Grapevine Finally Reopens To Traffic As Crews Clear Snow, Ice

CASTAIC (CBSLA) – The 5 Freeway through the Grapevine reopened late Friday morning following a powerful winter storm that dumped snow in the mountains and foothills and rain on low-lying areas moved its way out of the region.

Grapevine Remains Shut Down Friday As Crews Clear Snow, Ice
The 5 Freeway in the Grapevine north of Los Angeles is closed due to snow and ice. Dec. 26, 2019. (CBS2)

The 5 Freeway through the Grapevine — which has been closed since late Christmas night — reopened just after 11 a.m., with California Highway Patrol officers offering drivers escorts in both directions.

"I've had to call work twice," one motorist said. "I've missed two meetings, really important ones, and I'm going to miss work and my boyfriend as well."

Caltrans crews had spent hours clearing away snow and ice after single digit temperatures had caused the roadway to freeze over, CHP said.

But as soon as drivers were back on the freeway, traffic once again backed up, leaving some drivers no choice but to have some fun in the snow.

"It's fun, it feels awesome," one 10-year-old said after his mom stopped to let him play in the snow.

The 15 Freeway through the Cajon Pass -- which was intermittently closed Thursday, stranding thousands of drivers -- was open and moving Friday morning. However, further north, the 15 Freeway was shut down between the San Bernardino town of Baker and the town of Primm on the Nevada state line.

The Angeles Crest Highway (State Route 2) in the Angeles National Forest was shut down indefinitely between Newcomb's Ranch and Highway 39 due to heavy snow and fallen trees.

Palmdale snow
Snow falls in Palmdale, Calif., on Dec. 26, 2019. (CBS2)

Meanwhile, snow also blanketed the High Desert region of the Antelope Valley Thursday, turning Palmdale into a winter wonderland. Palmdale got a total of three inches of snow Wednesday and Thursday. Snow continued to fall early Friday morning.

The Los Angeles metro area recorded significant rainfall during the course of the storm, bringing down trees and flooding highways.

Rainfall totals included 2.91 inches in Pasadena, 2.2 inches in Woodland Hills, 2.06 inches in Northridge and Van Nuys, 1.93 inches in Pomona, 1.84 inches at Long Beach Airport, 1.66 inches in Saugus, 1.65 inches in Culver City, 1.57 inches in Burbank, 1.51 inches in Chatsworth and 1.46 inches at Los Angeles International Airport, according to the National Weather Service.

And with another storm system expected to hit Southern California late next week, locals had some advice for those traveling through the mountains.

"(Have) water, blankets and extra clothing in your car, and some snacks to eat on in case you get stuck on the I-5," one woman said.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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