Storm Slams Southern California With Downpours, Isolated Flooding

A second March storm system arrived Monday morning in Southern California

After a fast-moving winter storm brought rain, lightning, thunder and isolated flooding Monday, winter storm and wind advisories are in effect until Tuesday morning, with snowfall and gusty winds expected for parts of Southern California.

Heavy snow could fall down to the 5,000-foot level and on major freeway passes at The Grapevine and Cajon Pass through Tuesday morning. Snow levels in the mountains could reach up to 2 feet. Southwest winds could reach speeds up to 30 mph.

A wind advisory is in effect until Tuesday morning, with a high wind warning for the Antelope Valley, where winds are expected to hit up to 60 mph, forecasters said.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for much of the region early Monday as a storm slammed Ventura County before moving east into Los Angeles during the morning commute.

Power was briefly knocked out in some areas, including Los Angeles International Airport. The airport was running on backup power early Monday before power was restored to all areas except two parking structures. No flight cancelations were reported.

The main band of rain from the new storm, the second of the month, passed through the Los Angeles Basin by 7 a.m. Flash flood watches were in place for foothill neighborhoods underneath wildfire burn areas.

Downed trees were reported in Inglewood, Oxnard and other locations. Authorities said a Santa Ana school was safe enough to remain open Monday after reports of a possible roof collapse due to rainfall.

An estimated two feet of snow fell Sunday at Mammoth Lake, above the Los Angeles Aqueduct.

The rain from an earlier storm ending before dawn Sunday was heavy and constant in the Santa Monica Mountains. A fire station in Malibu Canyon got 2.71 inches of rain overnight, and the Malibu Civic Center got 1.3 inches.

Bel Air saw 1.65 inches, 1.22 inches fell at Century City and 1.57 inches dropped on Sherman Oaks. Los Angeles firefighters activated swiftwater rescue crews to evacuate a cluster of homeless people from the flood plain upstream of the Sepulveda Basin dam, but police did not close roadways.

The official downtown rain gauge at USC got .73 inches, Santa Ana saw .29 inches, and .48 fell at Villa Park in northeastern Orange County. Rainfall amounts in the San Gabriel Mountains were less than near the coast: 1.5 inches at Santa Anita Canyon.

The California Highway Patrol handled 150 collisions between 10 p.m. Saturday and 4 a.m. Sunday as the first of two storms left behind rain- slick streets throughout the Southland. That's compared with 65 collisions during the same time frame last weekend, the CHP said.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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