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Southern California storm will make roadways 'hazardous'

March 16, 2012 |  8:54 am

Rain storm

The potential impacts of what one meteorologist called "the strongest storm of the season" are becoming clearer as rain and snow approach Friday and Southland residents begin taking precautionary measures against the bad weather.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Southern California, which officials say will likely turn into a warning by the end of Friday.

That means winter driving conditions this weekend with some snow and ice on the roads.

“It could be quite hazardous in the mountains,” meteorologist David Sweet said. “If you don’t have to travel, don’t."

Highways 33, 2 and 14 along with Interstate 5 could all be affected by the storm. Sweet said residents should expect winds between 20 and 40 miles per hour with gusts up to 50 mph in the mountains, and possible snow in the Antelope Valley.

Up to three inches of rain could fall in the foothills and the lower elevations of the mountains, and Sweet warned that “locally heavy” rain could fall anywhere in the county.  

“There’s going to be some impact,” he said.

With this in mind, communities have begun closing impacted areas and roads.

Angeles National Forest officials will close two roads starting at 5 a.m. Saturday, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road will be closed from Angeles Crest Highway to Angeles Forest Highway. Angeles Forest Highway will also be closed from Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road to Aliso Canyon Road.

KTLA reports that San Pedro residents also expressed concern about the storm’s impact on the 600-foot section of a bluff-top roadway that was severely damaged by a landslide last November. Los Angeles City Deputy Engineer Vincent Jones told the station that they plan to close the area around the Paseo Del Mar bluff.

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-- Matt Stevens

Twitter.com/mattstevenslat

Image: National Weather Service

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