A powerful winter storm that brought flooding and freezing temperatures to the Pacific coast of the United States unleashed its fury on Saturday in California, which saw rivers rise to dangerous levels and snow fall even in low-lying areas around Los Angeles.
The National Weather Service said it was one of the most powerful storms to hit southwestern California and even as the wind and rain had subsided, snowfall continued at elevations as low as 1,000 feet.
The mountains around suburban Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles, were shrouded in white and snow surprised suburbs inland to the east.
Unusual blizzard warnings for the mountains and widespread flood advisories were ending Saturday night as the storm lost strength in the region. Forecasters said a pause would precede the arrival of the next storm on Monday.
After days of strong winds that downed trees and power lines, more than 120,000 customers in California were still without power, according to PowerOutage.us.
And Interstate 5, the major north-south highway on the West Coast, remained closed due to heavy snow and icing at Tejon Pass in the mountains north of Los Angeles.
Snow fell Saturday morning as high as 205 centimeters at the Mountain High resort in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles and as high as 160 centimeters east of Snow Valley in the Los Angeles mountains. Saint Bernardine.
“A very notable recent storm with record amounts of precipitation and snow at elevations where it rarely falls,” the Los Angeles area weather bureau wrote.
The Los Angeles River and other waterways that normally have little water or are dry most of the year were experiencing strong currents Saturday.
The Los Angeles Fire Department used a helicopter to rescue four homeless people who were trapped in the river’s main flood control basin. Two were taken to a hospital because they suffered from hypothermia, spokesman Brian Humphrey said.
In the Valencia area of northern Los Angeles County, a current from the Santa Clara River washed away three RVs early Saturday after eroding the foundation on a RV lot. There were no injuries, the KCAL-TV television channel said, but a resident described the scene as devastating.
The storm, fanned by a circling low pressure system off the coast, did not go away without causing problems. Due to the lightning, the beaches of Los Angeles County were closed and gusts of snow, rain and thunder persisted.
Source: VOA Español