While moderate showers deposited more than half an inch of rain on Los Angeles Tuesday, San Diego County was pelted by the same storm--including an incredible 4 inches at Imperial Beach, twice as much as anywhere else in the county.
Sheriff's deputies in Imperial Beach reported that roads were so badly flooded that some residents used rowboats to get around. Surging waters also caused damage to at least 10 homes in the coastal community and led to power outages that left 10,000 customers without electricity.
"It defies definition," said Frank Perdue of the National Weather Service. "Nobody knows how they got that much when nobody else did. . . . That falls in the category of 100- to 200-year rain."
Slick roads in San Diego County also were blamed for 200 accidents during a two-hour afternoon period, three times the average for a clear day.
Few Traffic Accidents
In Los Angeles, only a handful of traffic accidents were blamed on the storm, including a 15-car pileup on the Hollywood Freeway as the rain began falling late Monday night. Two people were injured in the accident, but there were no deaths, critical injuries or road closures reported, even in mountain areas, where up to 5 inches of snow had fallen by mid-afternoon.
At the Los Angeles Civic Center, where the showers ended by early afternoon, .64 of an inch of rain was reported as a result of the low-pressure system of subtropical moisture.
In the desert and the San Diego area, rain continued to fall Tuesday afternoon, but nowhere like in Imperial Beach.
In downtown San Diego, in contrast, 1.22 inches was recorded by 4 p.m., according to the National Weather Service. Still, the rain resulted in floods there too, causing part of Broadway between 7th and 8th avenues, which have been under construction, to sink.
Other Southland rainfall figures, according to the weather service, included .89 in Pasadena; .83 in Monrovia; .82 in Newport Beach; .77 in Beaumont; .75 in Torrance; .60 in Palm Springs, Montebello and Santa Monica; .56 in San Gabriel; .55 in Woodland Hills; .50 in Northridge; .38 in Long Beach; .26 in Lancaster, and .03 in Santa Barbara.
Forecasters said the rain would end in all Southland areas by late Tuesday. At that point, "it should be over for the week," said Mike Smith, a meteorologist with WeatherData Inc., which provides forecasts for The Times.
The high temperature at the Civic Center Tuesday reached 58 degrees after an overnight low of 47, the National Weather Service reported. The normal highs and lows for Feb. 2 are 68 degrees and 49 degrees.
Relative humidity ranged from 72% to 93%.
Bright skies and slightly warmer temperatures are expected today, Smith said, with high temperatures of about 60 degrees.
For Thursday, Smith predicted breezy, sunny skies and a high temperature of 65. On Friday and Saturday, highs should range between 65 and 70 degrees, he said.
Paul Feldman reported from Los Angeles. Andrea Estepa reported from San Diego County.