May 17, 2021 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

As Rain Falls Across L.A., Freeway Crashes Spike While Flash Flood Watch Extended:

More rain fell in the Southland today, resulting in a spike in freeway crashes, and a flash flood watch that had been supposed to expire early this morning was extended to late tonight, but only in areas previously denuded by wildfires.

On Tuesday, the flash flood watch was in effect throughout Los Angeles County. It was extended, but only near the sites of previous wildfires.

NWS forecasters warned residents near the sites of the Colby, Madison, Powerhouse and Williams fires to brace for the possibility of “significant mud and debris flows.”

The California Highway Patrol said there were 46 traffic crashes today on rain-slick freeways in Los Angeles County in the six-hour period beginning at midnight. During the same period a week ago, when it did not rain, 12 traffic crashes were reported, according to the CHP.

The CHP did not immediately release accident figures for Tuesday.

The NWS forecast moderate to heavy rain today, tapering to showers Thursday. Forecasters expected rainfall rates today of a half-inch per hour — three-quarters in some places. They also said there will be high surf along the coast and a high risk of rip currents.

Forecasters say that from Tuesday through tonight, the region will experience its heaviest rains since March. Tuesday produced a raft of rainfall records for a December 2. These included:

— Record rainfall of 1.21 inch fell in downtown L.A., eclipsing the record of 1.10 inch set in 1961.

— 1.12 inch was recorded at LAX, breaking the record of .73 inch set in 1966.

— 1.04 inch was recorded at Long Beach Airport, breaking the record of .79 inch set in 1961.

— 1.14 inch was recorded at Lancaster Fox Field, breaking the record of .45 inch set in 1961.

— 1.20 inch was recorded at Palmdale Airport, breaking the record of .46 inch set in 1961.

— 1.49 inch was recorded in Sandberg, breaking the record of 1.07 set in 1961.

A few records were also set in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

The NWS forecast highs today of 57 on Mount Wilson; 62 in Saugus and Lancaster; 63 in Palmdale; 65 in Avalon, Pasadena, San Gabriel and Mission Viejo; 66 in Long Beach, Burbank, Woodland Hills, Laguna Beach, San Clemente, Yorba Linda and at LAX; and 67 in downtown L.A., Anaheim, Fullerton, Irvine and Newport Beach.

Thursday’s temperatures are expected to be the same as today’s or slightly higher amid mostly cloudy skies.

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