LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Powerful rains drenched Southern California as the first of three storms arrived in the region Thursday morning.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms started early in Santa Barbara County, and moved south into Ventura and Los Angeles counties during the morning. Due to potential rock falls and mud flows, drivers were urged to avoid taking Pacific Coast Highway, which reopened from Broad Beach Road to Las Posas late Thursday afternoon.
Los Feliz and other neighborhoods experienced power outages Thursday night.
Just before 9 a.m., the city of Malibu shut down Zuma Beach due to lightning strikes. Beachgoers at all Los Angeles County beaches were told to seek shelter in the event of lightning, and Santa Monica city officials urged people to evacuate all ocean and beach/sand areas.
Hermosa Beach and Newport Beach also closed all their beaches and piers due to lightning.
Hail was reported in West Hollywood.
The risk of mudslides prompted Riverside County to order the mandatory evacuation of the Holy Fire burn area.
Thursday’s rainfall totals are expected to range from a quarter-inch to three-quarters of an inch, but foothill and mountain areas could get more, according to the National Weather Service.
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A flash flood advisory expired at 3 p.m. for Woolsey and Hill fire burn areas.
The storm tapered off late Thursday afternoon, but that won’t be the end of the wet weather. Another, much wetter storm will move into Southern California Friday night into Saturday. This second storm is expected to dump as much as three inches of rain on the area along with gusty winds of 40 to 60 mph.
A third storm is forecast to bring scattered showers into the area, but more importantly, could bring snow to mountain passes like the Grapevine.