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Winter Thunderstorm Slams Southland, Brings Drenching Rain, Heavy Snow

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – People across the Southland were awoken early Monday morning by torrential rain and powerful lightning amid a thunderstorm that rattled the region.

Snow in Lebec
Snow in Lebec, Calif. Dec. 28, 2020. (CBSLA)

The winter thunderstorm which hammered the Southland Monday morning brought flash flooding to the valleys and snow to the mountains. It also caused slick roads that were creating problems for morning commuters.

In Studio City, the storm brought a large tree branch toppling onto at least one car at Hoffman Street and Radford Avenue. In Mission Hills, several lanes of the 118 Freeway, just east of the 405 Freeway, were blocked due to flooding, but have since reopened.

And in La Mirada and Whittier, residents got some hail — blanketing streets and homes in white — delighting children and adults alike.

"It's actually really fun," Madeline Puente said. "It's really cold!"

In Monrovia, homeowners lined their driveways with sandbags in case the loosened hillsides above them gave way. The biggest concern during the rainstorm is for those living near burn scars, such as the Bobcat Fire.

"Because we're in the mountains we do tend to get a bit more rain than down below, so we are expecting about three-quarters-of-an-inch with this rainstorm, that's why we're a little concerned, that's a lot in one day," Monrovia homeowner Ashley Howie told CBSLA late Sunday night.

Los Angeles County lifeguards also posted photos of icy slush on Manhattan Beach.

Icy slush Manhattan Beach
Icy slush on Manhattan Beach after a rainstorm. Dec. 28, 2020. (Los Angeles County Lifeguards/Twitter)

The heavy rain also forced Ventura County to cancel coronavirus testing at several locations, including Moorpark College, Oxnard College, Freedom Park and Santa Paula.

Snow levels were hovering around 4,000 feet, with the Antelope Valley foothill community of Juniper Hills seeing a light dusting of snow.

San Bernardino mountain areas including Big Bear and Wrightwood could see up to 14 inches of snow.

There were no reports of serious damage or injuries anywhere in the region.

Fresh off a blowout win over the Minnesota Timberwolves at Staples Center, Lakers superstar LeBron James himself tweeted about the unstable weather.

"So when did So Cal have Thunder and Lighting??!!" he wrote. "Feel like I'm back home! Ok ok, I like it! Gone be knocked tonight! Hope it's goes for a few hrs."

A low-pressure system sitting northwest of Southern California was likely to keep bringing scattered rain throughout the day.

"It will continue to usher in a lot more of the scattered showers as we head into the afternoon, and we're also looking at mountain snow," CBSLA Meteorologist Amber Lee said.

The coasts and valleys could see up to one inch of rain, the National Weather Service reported, while the mountains could see one to two inches.

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