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Roads closed amid flooding, snow, mudflows from heavy rains [Updated]

March 21, 2011 |  5:58 am

Tree downed

Southern California was cleaning up Monday morning after a heavy storm that produced record rain totals in parts of the region.

Numerous roads remained closed Monday morning, including Interstate 5 through the Grapevine, due to snow, and Pacific Coast Highway at Point Mugu. A separate stretch of PCH in Malibu was reopened.

[Updated, 9:13 a.m.: All lanes along the Grapevine were reopened, and cars were being escorted by the California Highway Patrol.]

Topanga Canyon Road also was closed, as was Angeles Forest Highway (see full list of road closures in Los Angeles County here).

Some areas of L.A. County were hammered by the storm, including Van Nuys and Newhall, which recorded more than 6 inches of rain. Canoga Park recorded 4.7 inches; Beverly Hills, 4.1; and UCLA, 3.2.

Though the main rainstorm has moved on through the area, the National Weather Service said scattered showers were expected Monday, with another storm arriving Wednesday.

Strong winds at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank caused Southwest Airlines to cancel 16 flights Sunday and divert at least eight flights, and other airlines experienced long delays, an airport spokesman said.

Snow accumulated on the Grapevine and in the Ventura County mountains, with as much as 27 inches at the Pine Mountain Club in Kern County and 19 1/2 inches in Lockwood Valley, according to Stuart Seto, a weather specialist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Storm topples trees across the Southland

Residents from 12 homes in Woodland Hills were evacuated Sunday night as a flow of debris and mud threatened a retaining wall in the area, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

About 30 people were ushered out of homes near the retaining wall at 4855 N. Regalo Road, said Diana Igawa of the Fire Department.

The evacuations began about 7 p.m., and some families were sent to a fire station at 21050 Burbank Blvd., Igawa said.

At the height of the storm Sunday, more than 90,000 Southland homes and businesses lost power. About 40,000 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers had no electricity, and 49,808 Southern California Edison customers were without power, most of them outside Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Most of the DWP outages were caused by wind and rain, including downed wires and tree branches getting tangled in wires, a spokeswoman said.

Although there was an increase in accidents Sunday, no fatalities were reported, said California Highway Patrol Officer Ed Jacobs.

"This is typical of any rainstorm we get in L.A. County: It pours hard, water puddles on the freeway, and people drive too fast and end up crashing," he said. "If you slow down and maintain space, you'll be OK."

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Corina Knoll and Julie Cart

Photos (top): A tree fell Sunday afternoon at the corner of Temple and Spring streets in downtown Los Angeles, blocking sparse Sunday traffic near the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

(bottom) A tree fell on a car in the San Fernando Valley. Credit: KTLA News