Light to moderate rain pelted Southern California on Saturday, marking the start of a series of showers expected to last through most of the week.
The 7,500 runners who entered this morning's inaugural Los Angeles Marathon, however, and the 10,000 people police are expecting to line the course, may be spared from getting doused. Partly cloudy skies and only a 30% chance of showers are expected this morning, with the odds of rain increasing through the day to about 80% tonight. Temperatures today will be in the 50s and 60s.
Police and fire search teams were still looking Saturday night for an 11-year-old boy who was seen falling into the rain-swollen Los Angeles River near Dodger Stadium shortly after 4 p.m.
Police said the boy, Jose Guadalupe Grajeda, was playing with his two brothers on the cement river bank when he slipped and fell into the river. The boy's brothers, Jose Alfredo and Ruben, told police they saw him come up once before being swept under by the rushing waters.
Numerous Traffic Jams, Accidents
Saturday's showers also caused numerous traffic jams and accidents throughout the Southland. In Torrance, Mark Jason Byers, 11, Simi Valley, was critically injured when his stepfather, Tom R. Sanderson, 30, also of Simi Valley, lost control of the car while driving downhill on Crest Road.
Heavy rain was considered a contributing factor in a traffic accident at 1 p.m. on the Ventura Freeway near Westlake Village in which 10 people received minor injuries, the CHP reported.
The National Weather Service cautioned that fire-damaged areas of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties could be vulnerable to mud slides if the rain is heavy.
Rainfall ranged Saturday from more than an inch at the Los Angeles Civic Center and in the mountains to only about .25 of an inch along the beaches. The Civic Center has had 13.15 inches of rain this season, compared to 11.43 inches last season. The Civic Center high Saturday was 62 degrees, two degrees above the low.
In Northern California, the major rain-related problems occurred in Anderson, near Redding in Shasta County, where about 500 people fled their homes when an irrigation channel gave way. No one was hurt, authorities said.