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Freeway reopened after intense rain in LA area

December 17, 2014
A man uses a kayak to make his way around a flooded parking lot at a shopping center Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Healdsburg, Calif.  A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

FILE — A man uses a kayak to make his way around a flooded parking lot at a shopping center Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014, in Healdsburg, Calif. A powerful storm churned through Northern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The second of a pair of back-to-back storms triggered a slide of mud and debris that shut down a Southland freeway today while snow fell in local mountains and high surf pounded the coast.

The storm arrived Tuesday night and has been generating mostly light rain in the Greater Los Angeles area. Rainfall totals resulting from this system are expected to range between a quarter-inch and an inch according to the National Weather Service.

Around the Orange-Riverside county line, all eastbound lanes of the Riverside (91) Freeway were blocked for several hours today by a mud and rock slide that trapped several vehicles but caused no injuries, authorities said.

The transition road from the northbound Eastern Transportation Corridor (241) to the eastbound 91 was also closed for hours because of the slide.

In the mountains, an accumulation of between three and six inches is expected, mainly above 6,000 feet, and a dusting of snow is possible at 5,000 feet, according to the NWS.

NWS forecasters said the storm will slide out of the region this morning, leaving showers in its wake. But the agency nonetheless issued a winter weather advisory that will be in force in the mountains until 6 tonight.

“Be prepared for snow-covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution when driving,” warned an NWS statement. “Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle which includes a flashlight, food and water, extra clothes and blankets, and tire chains.”

The storm prompted fresh fears of mudslides and debris flows were feared. In Los Angeles County, a flash flood watch was in effect until 6 this morning in the San Gabriel Mountains and the San Gabriel and Antelope valleys.

Urgent flash flood warnings were issued this morning, then cancelled.

Along the coast, where big waves and perilous rip currents were expected a high surf advisory was in effect until 7 a.m. in Los Angeles County and until 3 p.m. in Orange County.

The latest bout of rain began Tuesday. The rainfall was generally light until late afternoon when a strong storm cell swept through the South Bay, flooding streets and inundating some vehicles.

The NWS issued a flash flood warning around 5 p.m. Tuesday for the southwestern portion of the county, with a nearly stationary front dumping rain on Torrance and western Carson at a rate in excess of 2 inches per hour.

Torrance police reported flooding in an area between 190th and Carson streets, from Western Avenue to Van Ness Avenue.

Several vehicles were inundated by the sudden flooding near Torrance Boulevard and Western Avenue, with tow trucks being brought in to pull cars from the swamped streets. Some streets were blocked off during the evening rush hour, snarling traffic.

There were no reports of any injuries.

In Glendora, where mandatory evacuations were temporarily imposed last week for residents near the Colby Fire burn area, city officials were again bracing for the possibility of debris flows. The city Monday issued a yellow alert, imposing parking restrictions and directing residents to remove vehicles and other obstacles from streets.

Temperatures, meanwhile, were expected to be mostly in the 50s and lower 60s. The NWS forecast highs of 49 on Mount Wilson; 53 in Palmdale and Lancaster; 56 in Saugus; 59 in San Gabriel; 60 in Pasadena and Burbank; 61 in Woodland Hills, Mission Viejo and at LAX; 62 in Long Beach, San Clemente, Yorba Linda and downtown L.A.; 63 in Avalon, Laguna Beach, Anaheim Irvine and Fullerton; and 64 in Newport Beach.

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