TEJON PASS (CBSLA.com) — An early winter storm layered snow and ice on Southland mountain passes, forcing officials to briefly close the 5 Freeway through the Grapevine.

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The roadway is the main artery connecting Central and Southern California.

Traffic was blocked at Castaic and in the San Joaquin Valley shortly before 10 a.m., according to the Caltrans website.

Shortly after noon, CHP officers began slowly escorting groups of vehicles along the freeway north from Castaic.

The 5 Freeway was fully reopened by 1:30 p.m.

Travelers were told to expect delays.

During the closure, traffic was backed up on Hasley Canyon Road before the 5 Freeway on-ramps, and some drivers were even driving backwards to get out of the mess.

The nearest freeway detour, involving state routes 14 and 58, was also closed.

Many drivers chose to use the 101 Freeway through Santa Barbara as their link between Northern and Southern California.

Meanwhile, rain fell across Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties and temperatures hovered in the 40s.

Slippery roads contributed to several wrecks, including a multi-car pileup that left several people hurt on Sunset Boulevard in the Holmby Hills.

The National Weather Service predicted an end to wet weather by the end of the night, only to be replaced by gusty, frigid winds.

(©2013 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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