LOS ANGELES - A strong winter storm brought record rainfall to the Southland, but it caused traffic accidents, delays and the closure of the 5 Freeway in the Grapevine near Castaic early Saturday.
The Grapevine near Castaic was closed around 5 a.m. Saturday due to snow. People tried alternate routes to get around the closure, but dozens of vehicles - many of them following Google Maps - ended up stuck in mud in a riverbed.
"We didn't see it," said Wayne Nash. "We just listened to what Google said. It said turn this way and save two hours. I thought it was smart enough not to send you through a river bed."
Drivers stuck in mud after Grapevine closure
The freeway reopened by 9 a.m. after California Highway Patrol officers checked road conditions.
The 15 Freeway through the Cajon Pass was covered with sand early Saturday to help cars drive through the icy conditions on the road.
The storm started Friday evening and into the overnight hours, drenching the Southland with heavy downpours and some winds. Streets were flooded and the steady bouts of rain caused low visibility and slick roads.
According to the California Highway Patrol, there were 148 crashes in Los Angeles County just between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. There were also about 30 crashes in Orange County during the evening.
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Heavy rains broke a record for Los Angeles International Airport, bringing 0.96 inches compared to an old record of 0.8 inches set in Dec. 23, 1995. Long Beach Airport saw 1.07 inches of rain compared to 0.62 set in 1995, and Lancaster Fox Field saw 0.56 compared to 0.49 in 1995.
Ventura County saw nearly 2 inches of rain, 1.41 inches, which broke a record of 0.67 inches set in 1982, according to the National Weather Service.
The NWS reported that December has been the wettest month for Los Angeles in the last six years. Since Dec. 1, the area has seen 4.08 inches of rain, which is a 265 percent increase from normal conditions. The average rainfall is about 1.64 inches of rain during the month.
While many neighborhoods in burn areas were prepared for possible debris and mudflows, some of the thick dirt found its way onto the streets in Duarte.
Soledad Canyon Road, just east of Agua Dulce Canyon Road, was closed Friday evening due to a heavy debris flow, but it was quickly cleaned up by crews.
Some spotty showers are expected throughout the day, but the storm will move out by the afternoon and leave SoCal residents with a dry, cool Christmas Day.
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