Southland Takes First Punch of Storm

A strong storm cell pelted Los Angeles on Monday, causing a spike in wrecks and some flooding. (Radar, Weather Maps)

Forecasters said Monday that more intense rain was headed our way. A flash flood watch was in effect through Monday afternoon for much of Los Angeles County, the Orange County coastal areas and Santa Ana mountains and foothills.

Two feet of snow or more was forecast for elevations above about 6,000 feet.

The National Weather Service said gale-force winds with gusts of up to 45 mph were causing dangerous surf conditions off the coasts of Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties.

Wet, gray weather did not dampen everyone's spirits, however. The Date Festival Parade went off as planned Monday morning at the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio. Music and other events were in full swing in spite of the rain, said Cal Fire-Riverside County spokeswoman Cheri Patterson, who took shelter in a tent at the fairgrounds.

Traffic Headaches

Intense rain started about 6 a.m. and flooded the Sepulveda Dam Recreation Area, closing Woodley Avenue and Burbank Boulevard.

Several motorists were hurt when about 20 cars were involved in chain reaction accidents on the northbound 101 Freeway in Agoura around 3 p.m.    (Check out images fed in by the NBC4 helicopter just before 4 p.m.).

California Highway Patrol officers closed the Grapevine section of Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles overnight and stayed busy with wrecks across the region through the early morning hours. No fatalities, however, were reported during the downpour.

In the Laurel Canyon area, a roughly 100-foot tree fell across Wonderland Avenue near its intersection with Lookout Mountain Avenue, knocking out power lines and electrical service to about 1,400 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers. No one was injured.


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A boulder fell on state Route 62 north of Palm Springs, and two vehicles ran into it, a California Highway Patrol dispatcher said.

Three eastbound lanes of the Santa Monica (10) Freeway also flooded just east of Alameda Street, and pooled water was reported on the northbound San Gabriel River (605) Freeway near its junction with the Foothill (210) Freeway, according the California Highway Patrol.

In recent trouble spots such as West Arlington Street in Long Beach, where homes have been repeatedly flooded, and along Skyline Drive in Sierra Madre, where mud made a mess last week, no major problems were reported.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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