The rain on Christmas Day went to Southern California

Southern California residents were given brief respite on Christmas Eve from a severe winter storm that brought flash floods, disrupted traffic and prompted evacuations in some fire areas in the area.

The rain gave way to mostly sunny skies in the Los Angeles area early Friday, with scattered showers expected in the area by the afternoon. Thursday’s storm dropped more than an inch and a half of rain in downtown Los Angeles, devastating much of southern California.

Camarillo Airport in Ventura County reported 2.6 inches of rain Thursday and Santa Barbara Airport saw just over 3 inches. In Orange County, John Wayne Airport reported 1.75 inches of rain.

According to the National Weather Service, some areas in Southland could accumulate an additional 1/4 to 1/2 inch of precipitation throughout the day due to intermittent showers.

On Boxing Day and until next week there will be more rain and snow in Southern California. A new storm, albeit less violent, is expected to hit the region around noon on Saturday, forecasters said.

However, the storm will bring temperatures down to the 50s and bring the snow down to 3,000 feet by Sunday morning, potentially affecting the Grapevine and I-5 corridors, officials said.

“We have a large trough over the west coast that will continue to bring waves of moisture through next week,” Brandt Maxwell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Diego, said Friday. “We may not be completely free of precipitation for a week.”

The heavy rain that hit Orange County’s canyon communities on Thursday sent mud and debris down several major roads late Thursday evening and early Friday.

Karla De La Cruz and Ricky Pohl are waiting for the Lakers-Spurs game at the Staples Center on Thursday.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The first minor debris flow was reported in Silverado Canyon on Thursday just after 8 p.m., several hours after the county instituted mandatory evacuation for areas scarred by the Bond fire last December, officials said. Several other small debris flows were reported during the night and early Friday.

“All of them were relatively minors,” said Molly Nichelson, a county spokeswoman.

Evacuation orders were lifted for Williams Canyon and Modjeska Canyon on Friday at 10 a.m. after the rain subsided in the area and much of Silverado Canyon is now open. However, part of Silverado is still closed.

No injuries or rescues were reported. It is unclear whether property damage was caused by the debris flow.

A flood watch issued by the National Weather Service remained in effect until Friday noon. But officials didn’t expect to see the same heavy rains that soaked the county overnight.

“We’re keeping an eye on it to make sure there aren’t any additional issues,” said Nichelson. “But we don’t expect as much rain in the coming days as with the system we just had.”

A fatal pile-up involving nine vehicles was reported on Interstate 5 near downtown Los Angeles on Friday morning while wet and on vacation.

The incident was reported heading south just after 8 a.m. Nine vehicles, including two semi-trailers, were involved. One person was killed and three others were taken to local hospitals, Los Angeles Fire Department officials said.

A person was pulled out of a vehicle with hydraulic tools, the fire department said.

A coronavirus testing station at Los Angeles International Airport.

A coronavirus testing station at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday. Flights have been canceled worldwide.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Around 170,000 daily travelers are expected to pass Los Angeles International Airport on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, two of the slowest days of the holiday season, before flying up on Sunday.

Airport spokesman Heath Montgomery said there were about 17,000 fewer passengers at LAX on these days compared to Thursday. He stated: “Sunday is different” and forecast the number of visitors to rise to 200,000.

According to Montgomery, the stats appear to be in line with an estimate of 3.5 million travelers passing LAX between December 16 and January 3, 2022. “We’re at this pace,” said Montgomery. “We won’t know for sure by the end of the season, but that seems like a pretty good number.”

Part of the crisis can be attributed to the efficiency of LAX as there were only 27 cancellations of 1,028 scheduled flights by 11 a.m.

Most of these cancellations came from United and Delta airlines, Montgomery said. The Associated Press reported that the airlines were struggling to deploy healthy flight crews because of the Omicron variant. About 90% of LAX flights were on time, and Montgomery said there were “more early flights than canceled flights” on Friday.

There have been no reports of flight cancellations at Orange County’s John Wayne Airport.

Comments are closed.