(dailynews.com) A steady, overnight rain triggered hundreds of crashes on Los Angeles County’s highways, knocked out power for thousands of residents, and prompted a public health warning for those heading to area beaches.
The moderate storm moved into the area on Sunday and continued through Monday morning, but better weather is on the horizon, including a warm Thanksgiving holiday, according to meteorologists.
About half an inch of rain fell in some parts of the county, while other cities such as Burbank and Pasadena saw a little more. Though the downpour wasn’t the drought buster needed here in Southern California, it left a mark by turning highways into one big slip and slide.
A total of 386 vehicle collisions were reported between 11 p.m. Sunday to 9 a.m. Monday, compared to 159 collisions for the same period last week, according to the California Highway Patrol. No fatalities were reported.
Off the roads, firefighters from Glendale and Los Angeles used a rubber boat to rescue four people trapped on a small island within the swollen LA River. They were not seriously injured and were taken to local hospitals in fair condition, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.
Meanwhile, reports of scattered power outages affected 5,000 homes across the county, from Torrance to Rancho Palos Verdes, as well as in Alhambra and Antelope Valley. Most of it was restored later in the morning, said Southern California Edison spokeswoman Mary Ann Milbourn.
The recent rainfall also prompted a warning by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for residents to be careful of swimming or surfing in area waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers. “Bacteria, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to enter ocean waters though these outlets,” according to a statement from the department.
But the storm also brought some good news. Enough snow fell to make ski operators hopeful.
“Our entire hill was dusted, but not enough to open up runs,” said Justin Kanton, marketing manager for Big Bear Mountain Resorts, which manages both Bear Mountain and Snow Summit.
Kanton said he hopes the snow, coupled with man-made snow, will be enough to open those runs this weekend or next.
At Mountain High in Wrightwood, the dusting in the San Gabriel Mountains cooled the ground, creating better snow-making conditions, said John McColly, chief marketing officer.
“Everything looks like winter, feels like winter up here,” McColly said.
The resort’s goal is to open the latter part of this week, Thursday through Sunday. Three trails will combine for one run.
As for the weather over the next few days, forecasters say it should be clear.
“Thanksgiving day is going to be beautiful,” said Carol Smith, meteorologist for the National Weather Service based in Oxnard.
In fact, Thursday should be sunny with a high near 75.