LOS ANGELES (AP) — A spring storm sweeping across Central and Southern California on Friday sent water and mud flowing into one of the state’s core freeways and flooded some city streets.
The California Highway Patrol shut down northbound lanes of Interstate 5 at the Grapevine mountain pass shortly before 5 p.m. due to flash flooding. The closure caused traffic on the freeway — the main route connecting Los Angeles and the southern San Joaquin Valley — to back up for miles.
The lanes reopened about 3 ½ hours later.
The weather front also whipped up dust that closed a 62-mile stretch of Interstate 10 on both sides of the Arizona-New Mexico border for hours on Friday. The lanes reopened around 7 p.m. local time.
Meanwhile, in inland areas of Southern California, a thunderstorm dropped heavy rain in Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, stranding some drivers who got caught in flooded streets. The roof of a warehouse in the area collapsed under the weight of accumulated rain water.
The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning for the area until Friday evening.
The storm also brought a rare sight to the San Bernardino Mountains this time of year: snow.
“It was dumping big flakes really hard for about an hour,” Mike Stephenson, general manager of the Big Bear Municipal Water District, told the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. “It didn’t stick. It came down like gangbusters and that was it. It didn’t do anything to us, but it looked real pretty.”
The back edge of the low pressure system brought snow to upper elevations of the Sierra Nevada on Thursday, with marble-sized hail and record rain at Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
The weather system also spawned thunderstorms Friday in Las Vegas along with hail and strong winds in Salt Lake City.
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