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Hail, snow, rain covers SoCal in wintry weather

March 8, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A late-winter storm swept through Southern California Friday, bringing rain, snow, wind and cold temperatures.

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The Grapevine section of Interstate 5 has reopened after being closed for hours due to dangerous driving conditions. Heavy snow had reduced visibility and made driving treacherous through the Grapevine.

"First it was a manageable drive, and then all of a sudden, all visibility went away, the road conditions were horrible," said Gil Espejo of Los Angeles. "I saw a guy spin out in his little car, and I stopped and helped him."

Drivers found themselves stranded in places like Gorman when the CHP shut down the freeway. The Grapevine reopened just after 8 a.m.

"I've been here for more than three hours. I cannot move," said driver Oscar Carcamo of Los Angeles.

In Acton, it snowed for hours early in the morning. With frigid temperatures, a good chunk of the snow began to stick. Snow plows were out, and a few drivers lost control of their vehicles in the snow. One woman hit a slick spot and started sliding on the road. She spun out and careened down into a ditch, but she was OK.

Some drivers decided it was too dangerous to continue on the road, and they simply pulled over.

"You could not drive in it with no chains," said Mark King of Santa Clarita. "Hydroplane's an understatement. It's not worth it."

According to the CHP, there were 394 accidents Friday on L.A. County roads and freeways compared to just 182 last Friday. One of those accidents involved a rollover crash in Santa Clarita on Bouquet Canyon. The driver lost control and hit a small wall. The driver was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The storm also shut some forest roads. Angeles Forest Highway was expected to be closed between Aliso Canyon Road and State Road 2, and Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road was expected to be closed from Angeles Forest Highway to State Road 2.

On Highway 330 in Running Springs, chains are required on all vehicles except four-wheel-drive vehicles with snow tires. The local mountains could see snow at 6,000 feet. San Bernardino mountain residents are preparing for up to a foot of fresh powder.

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