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Southland Hammered With Rain, Flash Floods And Thunderstorms

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Rain, hail and thunderstorms moved into the Southland Thursday, causing minor flooding in La Cañada Flintridge and an increase in traffic accidents.

Firefighters filled sand bags and placed them along La Cañada High School in the afternoon to combat flooding in the area, Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Tom Richards said.

“Nothing looks too bad,” Richards said. “The dams don’t look inundated.”

One person was briefly trapped in their car after it was surrounded by water, according to Richards.

SKY9’s Stu Mundel reported seeing graupel — described as a soft hail or snow pellets — covering lawns in the area.

The Foothill (210) Freeway was slick with rain and driving conditions were precarious, CBS2/KCAL9 meteorologist Josh Rubenstein reported.

A big rig overturned on the eastbound side of the 210 around 4:30 p.m., prompting the closure of the on-ramp at Lincoln Avenue, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Christian Cracraft. The two lanes on the right were closed and expected to be reopen in two hours. It was not clear if rain caused the big rig to overturn.

The morning commute was also affected by the wet weather; flooding was reported on the 710 Freeway near the southbound Pacific Coast Highway exit, while California Highway Patrol Officer Francisco Villalobos said there was a slight increase in the number of accidents reported.

Lightning strikes could be seen off the coast in the morning.

In Long Beach, lightning strikes reported around 7 a.m. knocked out service on the Blue Line between the Willow, Wardlow and Del Amo stations for about an hour, and prompted Metro to send buses to take passengers between those locations.

CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Josh Rubenstein said the storm will be short-lived, with an off-shore flow expected to bring warmer temperatures starting Saturday.

Temperatures are expected to get back up into the 80s by Sunday, the NWS reported.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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