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Antelope Valley weathers another frigid night

January 3, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
The snow stopped piling up in Palmdale on Monday night, but the temperature is falling.Heavy snowfall caused major traffic problems.

All lanes of the Grapevine reopened through the 5 Freeway on Monday, but California Highway Patrol still warned motorists to take extreme caution when maneuvering the icy roads.

The Grapevine was shut down Sunday at Parker Road in Castaic as snow and ice made for treacherous driving conditions.

Commuters were advised to take an alternate route by taking the 126 Freeway to the northbound 101 Freeway, head east on the 166 and take the 15 Freeway.

Many drivers were stranded and resorted to sleeping in their cars in fast food restaurant parking lots as vacant motel rooms were scarce.

The Cajon Pass on the 15 Freeway was also shut down Sunday night from ice and snow but is has since reopened. However, it was slow going for commuters as a heavy backup persisted Monday morning.

Hundreds of drivers were forced off the freeway amidst a huge traffic jam as many attempted to get back home after the holiday weekend.

"I don't think it's safe for anyone to drive up there," said San Jose resident Issac Herrera. "On the way down, you get more speed so there's a lot more accidents."

Bad weather in Southern California forced all schools in at least six school districts to close Monday. Districts affected included:

  • Snowline Joint Unified School District - CLOSED TUESDAY, JAN. 4
  • Rim of the World Unified School District
  • Victor Elementary School District
  • Victor Valley Union High School District
  • Apple Valley Unified School District
  • Lancaster School District
  • Palmdale School District

State Route 330 to Big Bear remained closed Monday due to extensive damage from past storms. The 18, 173 and 138 are all open, but chains were required.

In the Antelope Valley, 3 to 6 inches of snow were expected Monday as low as 1,500 feet, and 8 inches in the foothills. Those traveling on the 14 Freeway were warned of slick, dangerous conditions.

Monday morning, CHP units were escorting motorists along both directions of the 14 as the snow kept falling and continued to accumulate along the roadways.

Neighborhoods in Santa Clarita also saw snow Sunday, but rain was expected to roll through the area on Monday.

For the Los Angeles area, scattered showers appeared Monday with temps ranging from the mid 40s to the mid 50s. The rain tapered off through the afternoon.