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Stormy Weather Returns To Southland Bringing Flooding, Mudslides

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A slow-moving storm system slid over the Southland -- albeit later than expected -- bringing rain to most areas and snow to the mountains, beginning what forecasters expect to be two days of wet conditions.

A winter storm warning took effect at 1 a.m. Wednesday and will remain in place until 4 a.m. Friday in the Los Angeles County mountains, excluding the Santa Monica range.

The National Weather Service says "heavy snow" is possible and elevations above 5,000 feet could get 1 to 3 feet. "Light snow" could fall as low as 4,000 feet.

The snow will be accompanied by winds of 35 to 40 mph, with higher-elevation gusts of up to 60 mph.

"Travel could be very difficult to impossible," according to the NWS. "Some mountain roadways that could be affected by snowfall include Angeles Crest Highway, Mount Baldy Road and Highway 39 in Los Angeles County."

Caltrans said workers were clearing Angeles Crest Highway in the Angeles National Forest north of La Canada Flintridge, and chains were required.

At 7:47 p.m. Wednesday, Caltrans said Angeles Crest Highway was closed from State Route 39 to Big Pines Highway due to snow and landslides.

Just before 11 a.m., the sheriff's Crescenta Valley station reported mudslides on Angeles Crest Highway at Mile Marker 27.55. Deputies cautioned motorists to drive with caution.

Caltrans also advised that snow could impact travel through the Grapevine area on the 5 Freeway in northern Los Angeles County.

By 5 a.m. Thursday, CHP and Caltrans were alerting drivers that snow was sticking to the ground over the summit on the 5 Freeway between Lebec and State Route 138. Traffic was said to be slow through the area.

CHP later said the Grapevine was closed to drivers on both the north and southbound sides of the 5 Freeway due to snow and ice.

The freeway was closed from Grapevine Road on the southbound side and Templin Gate Shutdown on the northbound side. State Route 58 through Tehachapi is open and an alternate route, CHP said.

In Orange County, voluntary evacuation warnings will go into effect at 10 a.m. Wednesday for the Silverado, Williams and Modjeska canyon areas in the Bond Fire burn area due to fears of possible debris flows.

A flash flood watch was issued for Orange County coastal and inland areas and the Santa Ana Mountains, including the Bond Fire burn area through Thursday afternoon.

In Yucaipa, evacuation warnings remained in effect due to the current storm. San Bernardino County Fire reminded residents to continue to adhere to evacuation warnings and orders.

CBSLA Meteorologist Alex Biston said a Special Marine Warning was in place until 5:30 a.m. from Point Mugu to San Mateo Point, including Santa Catalina and Anacapa Islands.

"A shower capable of producing waterspouts was located near Port of LA. Waterspouts can create locally hazardous seas," Biston said.

Campers were evacuated from the Leo Carrillo State Park campground Thursday morning after a nearby creek began flooding from the rain.

Los Angeles County firefighters were able to assist 10 people in leaving the campground but said 30 to 50 people were still there and unable to self evacuate.

In Calabasas, Mulholland Highway was closed between Las Virgenes Road and Cornell Road due to heavy mudflow and rockfall on the roadway.

Maintenance crews were set to be in the area removing rocks, mud and debris once the heavy rain has subsided,  according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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