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Storms batter Northern California; L.A. braces for cold rain

March 15, 2012 |  3:14 pm

Weather Story (click for larger image)

Rain battered Central and Northern California on Thursday, and a cold winter storm is expected to hit Southern California by Saturday.

The Southland storm, which is expected to dump about half an inch to 1.5 inches of rain in the Los Angeles Basin, could be one of the biggest in months, a National Weather Service official said.

"In the scale of a winter storm, it’s not huge," said weather specialist Bonnie Bartling. "But it’s probably bigger than what we’ve had in a while."

To the north, officials told Associated Press that the storm prompted flood warnings near the Santa Cruz boardwalk and beach area. A rain-related car crash in Oakland left one person dead and several others hurt, AP reported.

Angeles National Forest officials plan to close roads when the storms hit the Southland. The closures will start at 5 a.m. Saturday on Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road from Angeles Crest Highway to Angeles Forest Highway and on Angeles Forest Highway from Aliso Canyon Road to Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road.

Access will be maintained only for emergency vehicles until the weather and road conditions improve, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.


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-- Bill Kisliuk, Times Community News, and Shelby Grad


Image: National Weather Service