Winter storm slams California, bringing blizzard and flood warnings to LA County
LOS ANGELES (CN) — A powerful winter storm hit Southern California Friday morning bringing unusually cold and wet conditions and sparking flood warnings and a rare blizzard warning in parts of Los Angeles County.
Interstate 5 just north of LA County, a heavily trafficked roadway known as "the grapevine," was closed by Caltrans after snow blanketed the 40-mile stretch. The California Highway Patrol reported eight to 10 inches of snow falling on Tejon Pass. Caltrans also shut down part of the Angeles Crest Highway, a winding road that cuts through the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County, which were also being blanketed with snow.
Other towns in California saw snow fall at sea level, includixng Santa Cruz. Residents of the college town woke to find a thin blanket of snow on the beach. And Eureka, a small coastal town in extreme Northern California, saw three inches of snow.
According to the Los Angeles Times, residents in the Hollywood Hills saw snow flurries — at least enough for one resident to make a neat snow ball — and the National Weather Service confirmed snow fell briefly around the Hollywood Sign. But most of the city did not see snow, much to the disappointment of some residents, though they were pelted by scattered hail storms on Thursday.
LA County's blizzard warning, the first since 1989, remains in place.
"Travel could be very difficult to impossible," the National Weather Service warned. "Some mountain roadways may be impassable for an extended period of time. Very strong winds could cause extensive tree damage."
The National Weather Service in Los Angeles tweeted: "Blizzard still very much 'in Play' for #SoCal."
An evacuation warning was issued for parts of Ventura County until Saturday morning due to potential flooding and heavy debris flow from rain and snow.