The first storm of the season snarled traffic Monday night in Southern California’s mountains, leaving some drivers stuck for hours in the snow and cold.
More than 100 cars came to a stop on Mount Baldy late Monday as snow and ice covered roads in the San Gabriel Mountains. In the Cajon Pass between the San Bernardino and the San Gabriel mountains east of Los Angeles, some drivers slept in their cars on the side of the 15 Freeway as they waited for conditions to improve.
The 15 Freeway reopened late Monday. Mount Baldy Road remained closed early Tuesday, when about a dozen vehicles remained stuck and snow plow crews worked to clear a path. By late afternoon, the fire department reopened the road to drivers with snow chains or the 4X4 requirement, but noted that traffic was still a mess.
Ski and snowboarding areas in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains reported as much as 24 inches of new snow. Mount Baldy Resort said on its website that while all the snow was good news, about 90% of its employees got stuck in the traffic jam.
The resort said crews are working on avalanche control before allowing any skiing and snowboarding.
Snowfall accumulations in the region’s mountains were expected to range from 6 inches to 12 inches at elevations above 5,000 feet. Chains were required on some mountain routes east of Los Angeles after vehicles got stuck in snow and traffic was backed up for miles.
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A winter storm warning has expired.
The system also brought snow to the Sierra Nevada and showers to parts of Northern California on the heels of a Christmas Day storm.
The storm included rain, hail and snow throughout Monday. Lightning flashed and thunder pounded as the storm front swept across the region, unleashing downpours followed by bands of rain that continued throughout the day.
More than 1.5 inches of rain fell in downtown LA, while some areas saw more than 2 inches.
No serious flooding was reported.