LOS ANGELES (AP) — Southern California was drenched Sunday as the latest winter storm brought downpours, heavy winds and mountain snow.
Firefighters rescued a man trapped by the fast-rising Los Angeles River as the system moved in and dumped up to 0.75 inches of rain by midmorning. The man was uninjured after being pulled to safety along the riverbank area east of downtown known for homeless encampments.
Up to 2 inches of rain was expected in the valleys of Los Angeles County and as many as 3 inches possible for southwest-facing foothills and mountains, according to the National Weather Service.
A flash flood watch was issued for foothill neighborhoods underneath wildfire burn areas, triggering fears of possible mudslides and debris flows. Scattered power outages were reported across greater Los Angeles.
Blinding rain briefly brought traffic to a near-standstill on LA freeways. North of the city, a crash during a heavy downpour involving two trucks closed southbound lanes of Interstate 5 near the Grapevine. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Motorists were warned to use caution on mountain roads, where snowfall above 5,500 feet could create icy conditions and poor visibility.
Forecasters warned of winds gusting as high as 80 mph on some peaks.
To the north, up to a foot of snow was expected to fall this weekend at the Sierra Nevada’s highest peaks, the weather service said.