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More Than An Inch Of Rain Fell Thursday Night, Wreaking Utter Havoc On The City
Between one to two inches of rain blanketed Los Angeles Thursday night, causing just as much chaos as one might expect in a city accustomed to 284 sunny days a year. Traffic collisions on the freeways tripled, there was a dramatic helicopter rescue involving puppies, and multiple incidents of flooding were reported, including one that closed a busy stretch of La Cienega Boulevard near the airport.
According to National Weather Service meteorologist Bonnie Bartling, the heaviest rainfall in the metro L.A. area was recorded near the Getty Center, where the precipitation total exceeded two inches. As of 8 a.m. this morning, a little over an inch and a half of rain had fallen in the downtown Los Angeles area since yesterday evening, according to Bartling. Lower amounts of precipitation (closer to three-quarters of an inch) were seen in the LAX and Long Beach areas.
City News Service reports that there were 165 collisions or incidents on Los Angeles freeways between 7 p.m. and midnight during last night's deluge, which is slightly more than triple the number that occurred during the same timeframe last week, when skies were clear. Los Angeles Fire Department spokesperson Margaret Stewart told LAist that her office had responded to 55 traffic incident calls since midnight last night. Stewart also said that since midnight the LAFD had received seven calls reporting flooding, eight "wires down" calls, and seven reports of transformer issues.
There was also flooding on La Cienega Boulevard at the intersection of Fairview Boulevard near the airport, which caused street closures after more than a foot of water filled the street, according to the L.A. Times. According to KNX, that section of La Cienega remains flooded and the area should be avoided.
The Times also reports that about 40 L.A. County firefighters took part in a river rescue in El Monte around 5 a.m., after two homeless women were stranded atop an island in the San Gabriel River near the 60 Freeway amid rushing waters. The two women, along with a litter of puppies, were rescued by helicopter at around 8 a.m., according to KTLA. In a picture tweeted by the L.A. County Fire Department, some of the chihuahua puppies can be seen wearing Christmas sweaters. According to another tweet from the fire department, the helicopter later "went back to rescue one last puppy that was still stranded on the island."
Bartling told LAist that although the rain may be clearing up, Angelenos won't be seeing our usual balmy weather return for a few more days. "Temperatures will plummet, so to speak, at least for us Southern California people," she said, adding that lows in the downtown area could dip into the high 30s Saturday night.