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Heavy rain, snow create safety concerns in Southern California

A flash-flood watch was in effect in the Inland Empire and snow chains were required in some mountain areas after a heavy storm moved into Southern California on Friday night, Nov. 6.

Conditions that could lead to sudden floods were expected to exist through 8 p.m. Saturday in San Bernardino County mountains, San Bernardino and Riverside county valleys and the San Gorgonio Pass, the National Weather Service said.

A hailstone sits next to autumn sage flowers during a storm in Jurupa Valley on Nov. 7, 2020. (Jennifer Iyer, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department has issued an evacuation warning for the El Dorado/Apple fire burn scar areas near Yucaipa through 8 p.m. for possible debris flows. A warning means that residents should be prepared to evacuate.

No storm advisories were in effect for Orange County.

The brush fires killed vegetation that holds hillsides together and makes it difficult for the ground to absorb water. As a result, normally dry river beds and culverts can be quickly overwhelmed with mud, rocks and debris. Mud and debris may also wash over roadways in and below the burn scars.

Motorists are advised not to drive through high or moving water.

Heavy snow was falling in the San Bernardino Mountains on Saturday, said John Brice, a spokesman for Snow Valle Mountain Resort, which is on Highway 18 near Running Springs. The resort is not yet open.

“If things go incredibly well, there is a possibility we could open next week,” Brice said.

Snow chains were required Saturday in most areas of the San Bernardino Mountains, including Highway 330 west of Running Springs, Highway 18 and on Highway 38 north of the lake in Big Bear. Also, chains were required on Highway 2 west of Highway 138 to Wrightwood.

A half-foot of snow was expected to accumulate below 6,000 feet through 6 p.m. Sunday, the weather service said. Up to a foot could accumulate at the 7,000-foot level and 18 inches was expected at the highest elevations.

Heavy rain and some hail fell at the lower elevations in Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties.

Los Angeles County could see 1/4 to 1/2 inch of rain with the higher amount in the foothills, while Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties could get around 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

The Big Bear area might get an inch and a half to two inches of rain, meteorologist Stefanie Sullivan said. Sullivan said the rain is expected to end late Sunday or early Monday morning.

Source: Orange County Register

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