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Rain Makes Halloween a Dreary Fright for Goblins and Drivers

November 01, 1987|JILL STEWART | Times Staff Writer

Saturday's rain caused postponement of Anaheim's 64th annual Halloween parade and triggered numerous traffic accidents throughout Orange County.

Trick-or-treaters braved the turbulent weather Saturday as a Pacific storm dumped more than half an inch of rain in some parts of the county. More showers were predicted for this morning.

The Anaheim parade was rescheduled for 6 p.m. next Saturday, according to Arlene Taormina-Ready, parade chairman.

"It's never been canceled and I didn't want to be the one to cancel it," she said after putting up posters along the route to inform people of the change.

As the rains had continued Saturday, Taormina-Ready said she contacted several city council members, as well as the Anaheim police, before making the decision to postpone the parade.

"The city got behind me. They said, 'Let's keep this tradition alive,' " she said.

Rain-slickened roads were blamed for numerous minor accidents and three unrelated accidents along the same stretch of the San Diego Freeway near Alicia Parkway, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Within half an hour, a produce truck overturned at the Alicia Parkway off-ramp, a truck jacknifed on the northbound freeway and another vehicle spun out in the southbound lanes. There were no injuries reported, according to Officer Bill Towell.

Paramedics and the California Highway Patrol had responded to more than 100 traffic accidents in Los Angeles by Saturday evening. Heavy rains caused a temporary power outage among 200 homes in Watts and set off small rock slides near Palmdale.

By 5 p.m. Saturday, .23 inches of rain had fallen at Santa Ana, .54 inches at El Toro and .64 at Newport Beach.

In addition to forcing a postponement of the Anaheim parade, the gloomy weather put a damper on many other weekend activities, forcing 200 volunteers from the Los Angeles Department of Public Works to cancel a graffiti cleanup in East Los Angeles and causing a smaller-than-expected crowd at a Los Angeles City Hall rally for increasing the state minimum wage. At the L.A. County Fairgrounds in Pomona, rain forced postponement of the 23rd annual National Hot Rod Assn. Winston World Finals drag race until Nov. 6.

Janice Roth, a meteorologist for WeatherData, which provides forecasts for The Times, said the system that brought dark skies to Southern California will move slowly to the East and taper off this afternoon.

"Maybe there'll be a few morning showers, but that will be it for a while," Roth said.

More rain may be on the way, however. "There'll be a chance of showers late Tuesday night," she said, because a low pressure system may be moving into the area from the southwest.

Season Total Is 2.08 Inches

Saturday's high in Santa Ana was 69 degrees, while it was 62 in El Toro and 65 at Newport Beach.

Rain pelted much of the West Coast, bringing up to two inches of badly need moisture to the mountains and light rainfall to the unusually parched Pacific Northwest, "but not nearly enough to end their drought," Roth said.

The California Highway Patrol attributed at least two fatal traffic accidents to the heavy rains.

A collision on rain-slickened Sierra Highway road in Newhall killed a 15-year-old boy and injured five others, including a star high school distance runner, authorities said.

Keith Cooper was killed when the car he was riding in with his two brothers began hydroplaning and struck an oncoming car carrying three teen-age girls, CHP dispatcher Kay Burdick said. Two of the girls were Saugus High School track and cross-country runners Heather Scobie, 17, and Shana Burt, 16, both listed in critical condition. Scobie placed second in the 1985 and 1986 Southern Section 3-A cross-country championships.

In a second fatality handled by the CHP, an Agua Dulce man was killed and a Pacoima man was injured in a head-on collision on Pearblossom Highway near Palmdale, the CHP reported.

Robert Wells, 30, was pronounced dead at the scene. Clarence Rachel, 30, was listed in critical condition at Antelope Valley Hospital Medical Center with broken arms and legs and a lacerated liver, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Several people were injured in a series of accidents on the southbound Santa Ana Freeway, beginning when a Los Angeles County sheriff's patrol car was rear-ended in the City of Commerce about 7:30 a.m.

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