LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — A storm rolled into Southern California on Thursday, bringing spates of heavy rain, lightning and thunder to the region by evening, and even snow to the mountains.
The front from the Gulf of Alaska brought bands of brief but heavy downpours to Los Angeles County and points east and south, dumping anywhere from trace amounts in some places to a half-inch or so in Long Beach, South Gate and portions of San Diego County.
Rain delayed the San Diego Padres’ game against the Washington Nationals, as well as Los Angeles Dodgers’ game against the Colorado Rookies at the top of the sixth inning.
The storm broke rainfall records for the day in several places. Downtown Los Angeles got 0.16 of an inch, breaking the old record of 0.03 that was set in 1902. The 0.17 of an inch recorded at Los Angeles International Airport was nearly triple the previous record from 1962. Newport Beach got 0.48, well above the 0.16 set in 1957.
In Valley Glen, near the intersection of Burbank and Laurel Canyon boulevards, a lightning strike hit a tree, setting it ablaze adjacent to an apartment building, and in Northridge, firefighters had to rescue a man from a flood control channel.
“We actually found a young male that was ways deep in these vertical wall channeled wash here with water running about 25 to 30 miles an hour,” Battalion Chief Carlos Calvillo of the Los Angeles Fire Department said. “Firefighters literally pulled up on scene, ran down the side of this channel and put their lives totally at risk to save this young man.”
Footage showed heavy downpour along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, thunder in Van Nuys and heavy rain in Northridge, where drivers had to navigate slippery roads.
In the Fairfax District along Melrose Avenue, significant street flooding was visible, impacting businesses as well.
“The water came rushing in and everybody started picking up their feet. Some people got up on their table. I had a gentleman carrying one of his lovely ladies at his table out the door. It was dramatic,” Kelly Gluckman, an employee of Pingtung Restaurant, said.
In nearby West Hollywood, footage posted via Instagram showed water running down a staircase.
The storm also brought some snow to Big Bear and Running Springs, where a mix of rain and snow fell along Highway 330 above 5,400 feet.
“Middle of May and it is snowing and we were swimming two weeks ago,” Brian Forteiny of Orange County said.
Weather concerns also prompted the AMGEN Tour of California to cancel its Friday race and relocate to Santa Clarita.
“We were supposed to have quite a few thousand people so it really put a damper on business for us this weekend,” K.C. Nelly, a bartender, said.
The north was expected to be mostly dry Friday, while the heaviest rain was expected that day in the south.
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