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Snowstorm Hits The Los Angeles Area, Knocking Out Power To Thousands

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(CTN NEWS) – LOS ANGELES – On Saturday, a severe winter storm with floods and subfreezing temperatures that had been sweeping along the West Coast turned its attention to southern California.

It caused rivers to overflow to dangerous levels and dumped snow in even low-lying areas near Los Angeles.

It was one of the greatest storms to ever hit southwest California, according to the National Weather Service, and even when the amount of wind and rain decreased, it continued to have a tremendous impact, dumping snow at elevations as low as 1,000 feet (305 meters).

Snow shocked inland suburbs to the east as well as the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Clarita, which is located north of the city.

Forecasters provided some solace by forecasting the storm will abate later in the day, despite the fact that blizzard warnings and flood advisories were still in effect for the mountains and the region, respectively.

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A vehicle makes its way across Wilson Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., as snow begins to blanket the area at approximately the 1,500 foot level on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. (Will Lester/The Orange County Register via AP)

120,000 California Utility Customers Are Still Without Energy

According to PowerOutage.us, more than 120,000 California utility customers are still without energy after days of violent winds, broken trees, and collapsed lines.

Moreover, Tejon Pass in the mountains north of Los Angeles still had heavy snow and ice, forcing Interstate 5, the main north-south highway on the West Coast, to stay closed.

At Mountain High resort in the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles, multiday precipitation totals as of Saturday morning included a remarkable 81 inches (205 centimeters) of snow and up to 64 inches (160 centimeters) farther east at Snow Valley in the San Bernardino Mountains.

According to reports, some of the highest peaks have already received 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 centimetres) of snow. Zach Taylor, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said that the rest of the day would bring another foot or two of snowfall.

On Saturday, runoff raged across the Los Angeles River and other rivers that typically flow slowly or are dry for the majority of the year.

Four homeless individuals who became trapped in the main flood control basin of the river were rescued by the Los Angeles Fire Department using a helicopter.

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Jacob Polanco, left, 8, and his older sister Khloe, 9, make snow angels after snow fell in their neighborhood at approximately the 1,400 foot level in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. (Will Lester/The Orange County Register via AP)

KCLA-TV Reported No Injuries

According to spokeswoman Brian Humphrey, two were treated for hypothermia and transferred to a hospital.

Three RVs were taken by the raging Santa Clara River early on Saturday morning in the Valencia neighborhood of north Los Angeles County after it carved down an embankment where an RV park was situated.

KCLA-TV reported that no one was wounded, but a local said the situation was heartbreaking.

Those in the east, meanwhile, were battling the effects of storms earlier this week.

The two major companies in the state, DTE and Consumers Energy, said that as of early Saturday afternoon, more than 350,000 customers in Michigan were without electricity.

Both stated that they anticipate turning on the lights for the majority of their clients by Sunday night.

According to Brian Wheeler, a spokesman for Consumers Energy, some power lines were weighed down by half an inch (1.27 centimetres) of ice, which is the same as the weight of a baby grand piano.

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The rain-swollen Los Angeles River flows near downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. (AP Photo/John Antczak)

Residents Struggling To Keep Themselves Warm

Em Perry, environmental justice director for Michigan United, an organization that fights for economic and racial justice, said that “people are not only outraged but struggling.” “For warmth, people are huddling under blankets.”

According to her, the group will demand that utilities pay residents back for the price of buying generators or replacing spoiled food.

After spending the previous two nights in the chilly darkness of Kalamazoo, Michigan, Allison Rinker was using a rented generator to keep her 150-year-old home warm on Saturday.

We were all surviving, but on the second day, moods were low, she remarked. It was like a total attitude shift as soon as the heat returned and we were able to have one or two lights on.

Rinker, 27, who had driven to a relative’s house to store supplies, compared the falling trees to tornado damage.

She recalled, “The ice that was melting off the trees was hitting our windscreen so hard, I was terrified it was going to fracture.” “Tree limbs are just all over the place, and half the trees are just falling over. The damage is insane.”

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Kegan Chay and Audra Barrios, from left, of Berkeley, react as snow falls at Tilden Regional Park along Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley, Calif., on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023. (Jane Tyska /Bay Area News Group via AP)

Back in California, the National Weather Service‘s Weather Prediction Center predicted significant snowfall over the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Mountains through the weekend.

According to the National Weather Service office in Las Vegas, the low-pressure system was also anticipated to bring widespread rain and snow to southern Nevada by Saturday afternoon and to northwest Arizona Saturday night and Sunday morning.

The Sierra Nevada backcountry near Lake Tahoe, which sits on the California-Nevada border, received an avalanche warning.

On Friday, there had been a new snowfall of nearly 2 feet (61 cm), and the meteorological service predicted that when another storm moves in with the possibility of gale-force winds and intense snowfall on Sunday, there may be up to another 5 feet (1.5 meters) of snowfall.

The heaviest snowfall in Arizona was anticipated from late Saturday through noon Sunday, with up to a foot of additional snow being likely in Flagstaff, according to forecasters.

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Brody Mielke, left, 10, and his older sister Braelynn, 12, make a snowman as snow falls at approximately the 1,700 foot level in front of their Fontana, Calif., home in Hunters Ridge on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023. (Will Lester/The Orange County Register via AP)

Storm Claims Lives Of 3 People

Along with pockets of freezing rain across some sections of the central Appalachians, weekend snow was also predicted for areas of the upper Midwest and Northeast.

By Sunday night, the storm was predicted to have reached the central high Plains.

The coast-to-coast storms have claimed the lives of at least three people.

In Rochester, Minnesota, a pedestrian died after being struck by a city-owned snowplow, while a Michigan firefighter died on Wednesday after coming into contact with a downed electrical wire. According to Portland, Oregon, authorities, a person passed away from hypothermia.

Following this week’s second-heaviest snowfall on record for the city of Portland—nearly 11 inches—a large portion of Portland was closed due to slick roadways (28 centimeters).

On Saturday afternoon, the city experienced a sunny sky and temperatures that were close to 40 degrees, but the reprieve—and thaw—was fleeting. On Sunday and overnight, more snow was anticipated.

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