Rain to stay in SoCal for weekend; high-surf advisory issued


Blustery winds paired with soggy soil knocked down a huge tree in San Pedro earlier Friday. The huge tree split in two, according to residents. One branch came crashing down on the street and fell on two cars and the other went down on the sidewalk damaging a fence and narrowly missing a home.

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"I came out, and it was laying across the street towards the school and there were two cars trapped underneath it on that side but no one was hurt," said eyewitness Kathy Sprague.

Near the coast, a high surf advisory is in effect until early Monday afternoon as the wet weather moves across the region. The National Weather Service anticipates waves to be 5 to 8 feet tall in Orange County.

The waves are expected to hit 12 feet high on west-facing beaches in Los Angeles County, including Manhattan Beach on Saturday, 4 to 5-foot surf in Malibu and 5 to 10 in Huntington Beach. The strong waves are always a concern when it comes to rip currents, but surfers are making the most of it.

"We have a new building west swell. It's our first kind of big one coming in for the winter," said Casey Blair of West Garden Grove.

Christopher Close from Mar Vista surfed the waters in Manhattan Beach on Thursday and was contemplating doing the same Friday. He said he wouldn't recommend novice surfers to risk hitting the waters during such conditions.

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Officials advise surfers to stay out of the water at least 72 hours after the rain ends, because there is a possibility of high bacteria levels.

The rain also caused some problems for drivers. The wet conditions are being blamed for a quadruple big-rig pileup on the 210 Freeway in Pasadena Friday morning. The westbound lanes were closed for hours after two of the semis jackknifed, and diesel spilled all over the freeway.

In the Inland Empire, the rain really seemed to come down near the mountains, with some of the heaviest downpours near Mount Baldy Village.

But Chuck Jordan had to spend time out in the weather. He said when it's your job, and you have rent to pay, you've got no choice.

"You can't sit around and expect that money to come to you, so you have to go and make it," he said. "No money no honey!"

It was also a sloppy day in Ontario at ABC7's Spark of Love Stuff-A-Bus event. But Eyewitness News elf Garth Kemp was no Grinch about the wet weather.

"It's kind of warm out, it's subtropical in nature so it's perfect for my elf outfit," he said.

On Thursday, the California Highway Patrol said it recorded 188 rain-related collisions in an eight-hour period in Los Angeles County.

By around midday Friday, the rain total was just over 1 inch in Devore and the Newhall Pass and just under 1 inch for Santa Monica. Temperatures were expected to linger in the mid 60s for most of the Southland and upper 40s for the local mountains with the snow level at 8,000 feet.

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