Winter Storm closes Grapevine, asks for evacuations

A slow winter storm hovering over Los Angeles created a mess of conditions Thursday – leading to the closure of several major roads and highways, prompting evacuation near forest fires, burning scars and necessitating water rescues, officials said.

At least 10 people had to be rescued from Leo Carrillo Campground in Malibu after significant rainfall sent a stream of muddy water through the area, according to Captain Ron Haralson of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Rescuers were called around noon. 4. Several campers were caught and vehicles were flooded, he said. Rescue crews were able to evacuate the campers to safety and no injuries or deaths were reported.

Meanwhile, the accumulation of ice and snow forced officials to close part of Grapevine in both directions of the 5 Freeway, the California Highway Patrol said.

The CHP and California Department of Transportation warned drivers of significant delays in the area. The northbound 5 was closed at Parker Road in Castaic, where the “snow gate” has been opened to allow drivers to turn around.

The southbound 5 was closed at Grapevine Road. There is no estimated time for reopening, officials said.

The freeway serves as a main artery for travel in and out of Los Angeles County. State Route 58 through Tehachapi is open as an alternative route.

A CalTrans traffic camera shows a closed Highway 5 in Lebec.

A CalTrans traffic camera shows a closed Highway 5 in Lebec.


The National Weather Service said humid conditions are expected to continue throughout the day, with more weather advice in place across the southern country.

“LA county is going to get pretty persistent rain all day,” said Mike Wofford, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Oxnard. “It fluctuates from going to light to heavy, light to heavy, and it’s going to be like that most of the day.”

A winter storm warning was in effect in the mountains of Ventura and Los Angeles counties as well as San Bernardino County, including Big Bear and Wrightwood, where officials warn of difficult travel conditions with significant reductions in visibility.

Rapid Flood Clock is in effect for the Lake, Bobcat, Dam and Ranch 2 incineration areas until 6 p.m. 4pm Thursday, with residents asked to prepare for potential floods and waste streams.

“There’s still some heavy rain left, so they need to be on guard,” Wofford said.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said residents can pick up ready to fill sandbags at all neighborhood neighborhood fire stations, with free sand offered in several locations.

Orange County officials also issued voluntary evacuation orders for Silverado Canyon, Williams Canyon and Modjeska Canyon near the Bond fire area until 6 p.m. 16. The order was originally mandatory but was downgraded to voluntary Thursday morning; officials, however, advised residents to continue to prepare and evacuate, especially those with disabilities, access needs or large animals.

The heaviest rain is expected to fall over a 30-mile swath that covers most of the Los Angeles coast and the San Gabriel Valley, where it can fall up to 4 inches. The rest of LA County is likely to see 1 to 2 inches.

Precipitation will fall south and east of LA County, officials said. Little or no rain is expected over the counties of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.

The winter storm also kept temperatures – which are usually in the 60s at this time of year – well below average. Officials said several records were broken in the Los Angeles area on Wednesday, then maximum temperatures at six stations peaked in the low 50s.

The rain also broke a precipitation record at the weather service’s office in Oxnard, where 2.72 inches of precipitation on Wednesday surpassed the daily record of 1.58 inch set December 29, 1951.

Wofford said the storm moved into the area at a fairly normal pace, but then stalled as it reached Los Angeles.

“Most storms we get six hours of rain and it’s over, but this particular situation is different,” he said. “The low pressure sitting off the coast is not moving properly; it’s just a way to direct moisture into our area. ”

The rain also got to closure of Mulholland Highway in the Santa Monica Mountains between Las Virgenes Road and Cornell Road, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works said. Heavy mudslides and rockfall have strewn the roadway, which maintenance personnel will work to remove when the heavy rain subsides.

A large amount of mud and debris is also blocking the southbound lane of Malibu Canyon Road north of the tunnel. Motorists are advised to exercise caution and avoid mountain roads in rainy weather.

The Angeles Crest Highway from State Route 39 to the Big Pines was also closed due to snow and landslides.

Southern California was not the only place affected by the storm.

Stunning snowfall has brought much of the Sierra Nevada to a standstill, with tens of thousands of residents still without power Thursday morning, according to Pacific Gas and Electric.

Governor Gavin Newsom activated the State Operations Center on Wednesday to monitor storm conditions.

“I strongly urge all Californians to avoid making the situation worse and refrain from traveling on mountain roads until conditions improve,” he said.

Highways 50 and 80, which have been periodically closed this week due to significant ice and snow, were only open for significant travel, the California Department of Transportation said, noting that some gas stations are lacking fuel and supplies. Snow chains are required.

In a video update, Caltrans director Toks Omishakin urged people to stay away from the Sierra highways, saying more than $ 22 million in damage has already been caused by the winter storms.

Crews have worked around the clock in 12-hour shifts to keep the roads navigable for significant journeys, such as those making critical trips or delivering freight and goods in the state, he said.

“If it’s a trip just to hang out with family and friends, we say, stay off the roads. The conditions are treacherous,” he said.

The UC Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab in Donner Pass reported Wednesday that it had received 264 inches of snow since October 1, and breaks a 51-year record for snowfall from October to December of 260 inches, set in 1970.

The rain in Southern California is expected to pour out on Friday, and while New Year’s Eve may begin with a few showers, the start of the new year should end up being dry.

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