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Rainy weather causes 188 accidents in 8 hours in LA County - CHP

Drivers are seen in the rain in Sylmar in this photo from Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012.
November 29, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Roads have been saturated and slick in many parts of Southern California thanks to a steady drizzle Thursday mixed with heavy rainfall overnight.

Wet roads were responsible for a number of accidents Thursday. In Los Angeles County, the California Highway Patrol reported 188 rain-related collisions in an eight-hour period.

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Cornell Smith of San Fernando says he is surprised by how fast some people drive despite the dangerous conditions.

"In Southern California, we're so accustomed to driving too fast, we continue to drive too fast, even when it's raining," he said.

Rain may be to blame for an injury accident on the 10 Freeway at Waterman Avenue in San Bernardino. Four people were hospitalized after a pickup truck spun out of control and into the path of an oncoming tractor trailer.

"The driver of the big rig reacted by turning to the left at which point he traveled across all three lanes on the westbound side and overturned into the center median," said CHP Officer Leon Lopez.

Traffic was backed up for hours while hazmat crews mopped up nearly 100 gallons of spilled diesel and Caltrans workers swept up debris.

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In the foothill communities, residents are still dealing with the dangers rainfall can bring since the Station Fire torched vegetation and more three years ago. Since then, residents in areas like La Canada Flintridge have had to contend with heavy rain storms triggering mud slides. K-rails and sandbags are still in place along some streets in the area.

Steve Newsom says he is happy a lot of the vegetation has grown back since the fire.

"With the natural re-growth with the rain and so forth, the hills have greened up a little bit and there's not been anything significant at all until that event that we had with the fire and the heavy rains that was kind of the perfect storm," he said.

The rainy weather was not good news for local ski resorts. Mountain High shut down its lifts after warm rain melted much of the snow pack on the slopes.

"Rain never helps snow pack and it did affect us, but we didn't have hard rains, it's the light rain which is good and we're just hoping for some cooler temperatures to get us back open," said Cindy Shippy with Mountain High.


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