LOS ANGELES (AP) — Rain, hail and snow fell Monday as Southern California saw its first significant storm of the season.
Lightning flashed and thunder pounded as the storm front swept across the region in the middle of the night, unleashing downpours, followed by bands of rain that were expected to continue through the afternoon.
“The good news was the front was moving quickly which prevented any serious flooding from occurring,” the National Weather Service‘s Los Angeles region office said.
Localized roadway flooding and many traffic accidents were reported, and authorities along the coast cautioned potential beachgoers that water would likely be contaminated by bacteria, chemicals and trash washed down drains, creeks and rivers.
Firefighters used an inflatable boat to rescue a man and woman stranded by storm water on a small island in the middle of the Los Angeles River in the Atwater Village area north of downtown. A passerby spotted the pair, who apparently lived on the island.
Snowfall accumulations in the region’s mountains were expected to range from 6 inches to 12 inches (15.2-30.4 centimeters) at elevations above 5,000 feet (1,524 meters).
The system also brought snow to the Sierra Nevada and showers to parts of Northern California on the heels of a Christmas Day storm.