A storm that dumped several inches of rain in some parts of Southern California on Friday hasn’t run its course just yet — a cold spell is on the way.
National Weather Service meteorologist Brett Albright said the cold front will move into the area as the rain moves out, plunging nighttime temperatures into the 40s and even the 30s in some places.
“It does look like Saturday some places will be hovering in the mid to low 30s ... (at night),” he said.
For most of Thursday night and much of the day on Friday, few freeways in the Los Angeles area were spared from the effects of pounding rain and winds, as multiple major crashes, dramatic rescues and other delays tied up traffic for hours.
Starting around 7 p.m. Thursday, the overnight rainstorm dumped over an inch of rain across the region, according to the National Weather Service. Some areas in the foothills saw as much as 3 to 4 inches of rain.
The NWS issued flash-flood warnings in areas recently burned in brush fires. Alerts were sent for the valleys — San Gabriel, San Fernando, and Santa Clarita — and for the Santa Monica and San Gabriel mountain areas. Areas of Ventura County were also issued flooding alerts.
Nearly 100 accidents occurred on Los Angeles freeways between 5 and 10 a.m. Friday, compared with 57 during the same time frame a week earlier, when it did not rain, the California Highway Patrol reported.
About 5:50 a.m., a big rig overturned on the transition from the westbound Foothill (210) Freeway to the southbound Golden State (5) Freeway, blocking the roadway for several hours, according to the CHP. No injuries were reported.
A few minutes after the crash, several other vehicles slid on the muddy roadway and nearly crashed into the disabled truck, the CHP reported.
From midnight to 5 a.m., there were “numerous” crashes on the freeways, but exact numbers were not available, the CHP reported.
KABC-TV reported that a mudslide was reported on Sand Canyon Road near the Live Oak Campground in the Angeles National Forest in Santa Clarita. The incident caused a two-lane street in both directions to be closed, the station reported.
Rain started a mud flow Friday morning at Fire Camp 9, also at the Angeles National Forest in Santa Clarita, that stopped firefighters from going through a road for fire camp crews.
“We had a dozer come up and clean debris that came down the road,” said Los Angeles County fire Inspector Gustavo Medina. Medina did not know the exact time of the mud flow.
The night before, on Sierra Highway south of Vazquez Canyon Road outside of Santa Clarita, a 53-year-old man from Lancaster died in a head-on freeway crash, authorities said.
CHP Sgt. Michael Munoz said he did not believe rain was a factor but the crash was still under investigation, so he could not rule it out.
Neighborhoods in the San Gabriel foothills witnessed mudflows that blocked some city streets. In Duarte, a small mud flow prompted the closure of Valley View Elementary School for the day.
In the Inland region, two lanes of the eastbound 60 were flooded just east of Interstate 15 in Jurupa Valley, causing heavy traffic in the area. Big-rigs jackknifed on I-15 and the 91 Freeway and spin outs were reported on a number of freeways.
Firefighters and sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of two women and a litter of puppies trapped on a small island in the middle of the San Gabriel River, which had swelled with the onslaught of rain, near the 60 Freeway in El Monte.
As for the incoming coldfront, Albright said things will be chilly Saturday and Sunday. Operators of some cold weather shelters said they expected to open up during the period.
Anne Unmacht, who operates a cold weather shelter in Temecula, said the shelter will be open over the weekend, offering such things as “beds, hot meals, job leads, whatever assistance a person needs.”
Plants may also be at risk. Albright encouraged people with sensitive flora to cover them up, as low lying areas could be susceptible to some frost.
A warming trend should emerge by early next week, he added.