Rain and snow return to SoCal, causing slick roads and bringing threat of flooding

A winter storm brought steady rain to Southern California overnight, making for a wet morning commute Wednesday, dropping snow in the mountains and causing a mudslide in Orange County that prompted evacuation orders.

Police in Seal Beach said Wednesday morning the beach and pier were closed due to lightning strikes. The department tweeted about an hour later that the beach and pier had reopened.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service warned that the storm, which is expected to continue into at least Thursday and possibly into Friday, could cause minor flooding in southern Los Angeles County, with some minor mud and debris flows possible across the southern portion of the Bobcat and Ranch2 burn areas in the Angeles National Forest. Officials also warned of possible power outages.

At about 7 a.m., a mudslide cascaded onto Silverado Canyon Road in Orange County, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or heavy damage. Due to the fear of more rain prompting additional slides, a mandatory evacuation order was issued for Silverado Canyon, along with evacuation warnings in Modjeska and Williams canyons.

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A storm moving across Southern California is causing problems for residents in the community of Silverado Canyon in Orange County, which saw some mudslides Wednesday morning.

Late Wednesday morning, the warnings were changed to evacuation orders for Modjeska and Williams canyons as well.

The storm system dropped nearly three-quarters of inch of rain in Culver City and more than a half-inch in downtown Los Angeles, Hawthorne and Los Angeles International Airport, according to the NWS. Most valley areas received between a third- and half-inch of rain overnight, while snow fell in some mountain areas, including 5 inches on Mount Wilson.

ABC7 meteorologist Leslie Lopez said the steady rain that started in the early hours Wednesday will taper off, followed by "on-and-off showers" into Thursday.

Skies cleared in many areas by mid-morning, but forecasters warned that the storm wasn't yet finished.

SoCal weather: Storm bringing rain, snow to last throughout Wednesday

"Most areas should see additional rain today, but it certainly will not rain all day, with plenty of breaks in rain and even the clouds,'' according to the NWS.

A slight chance of thunderstorms will continue through the day, and snow was falling at levels down to 2,500 feet.

A winter storm warning is in effect until 10 p.m. Thursday for the Los Angeles County mountains, excluding the Santa Monica range, with the National Weather Service anticipating snow accumulations of 6 to 12 inches above 4,500 feet, down to a dusting for elevations around 3,000 feet. The snowy conditions will be joined by southwest winds of 20 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph.
Forecasters warned that conditions will make driving hazardous in the county's northern reaches, with the 5 and 14 freeways likely to be affected.

"A cold storm system will bring rain and low elevation snow to the region ... through Thursday evening, potentially causing significant mountain travel issues including Interstate 5,'' according to the NWS. "There will be a slight chance of thunderstorms, especially Wednesday through Thursday. It will be breezy to windy at times and very cool.''

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A blast of winter weather overnight created dangerous driving conditions through the Grapevine Wednesday morning.

Due to the wet forecast, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority announced that weather-activated shelters would be open from 5 p.m. Tuesday until 7 a.m. Friday at Loma Alta Park in Altadena; Glassell Park Recreation Center; Mary Bethune, Enterprise and Leon Washington parks in South Los Angeles; and Alondra Park in Torrance.

Information about shelters is available by calling 211 or 800-548-6047.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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