CASTAIC (CBSLA.com) — Traffic is moving again Friday on the Golden State (5) Freeway through the Grapevine after Caltrans crews cleared mud, rocks and debris off the road. All lanes on the northbound and southbound sides reopened.
A mud flow across the freeway Thursday afternoon stopped dozens of vehicles in their tracks along the Grapevine. The closure choked off the main artery between Los Angeles and California’s Central Valley.
The mudslide blocked the 5 Freeway between Fort Tejon north of Gorman and Parker Road in the Castaic area.
Showers and thunderstorms on Thursday produced heavy rain and hail in the area north of Castaic from the 5 Freeway to Lancaster and points east, causing the mud flow.
About 2 1/2 inches of rain fell in the affected area, portions of which were covered with golf ball-sized hail.
During Thursday’s storm, flooding and mud flows devastated the Lake Hughes and Lake Elizabeth areas, where vehicles were trapped in mud.
Fire crews helped some motorists escape their swamped vehicles and get to safety. Aerial video showed a recreational vehicle on its side, apparently swept off a road by a mud flow.
Flood and mud also damaged homes in Palmdale and Lancaster. Palmdale officials said 10 homes were damaged by the storm. But no injuries were reported in any of the storms or mudslides.
Rainfall records for Oct. 15 were set Thursday in Palmdale (0.94 of an inch) and Sandberg (0.65 of an inch), breaking the previous records of 0.04 of an inch and 0.15 of an inch, both set in 1935, according to the National Weather Service.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich said he will ask his colleagues on Tuesday to declare a state of emergency for the areas of Quartz Hill, Leona Valley, Lake Hughes, Lake Elizabeth and surrounding areas.
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