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Rain Brings Power Outages

Weather: A Pacific storm lands in the Southland, hitting some parts of Ventura County with more than 2 inches.

November 13, 2001|JENIFER RAGLAND | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Pacific storm formed in the Gulf of Alaska dumped more than 2 inches of rain in parts of Ventura County on Monday but sprayed most of Los Angeles County only long enough to slick roads and spin wheels.

Power outages abounded in Ventura County, much of which got more than an inch of rain. But though at least 20 accidents occurred on highways there, in Los Angeles County, more than 353 accidents were reported to the California Highway Patrol during a seven-hour stretch.

The cold front was the second part of a weather system that came through Southern California over the weekend, National Weather Service officials said.

"That one cleared the atmosphere out, so this one was much more intense," said Bill Hoffer, a meteorologist with the weather service in Oxnard. "It just had more energy when it came down from Alaska."

In the San Fernando Valley, the rain may have been responsible for a power outage that affected 3,000 customers, mostly in Encino and Woodland Hills, a spokesman for the Department of Water and Power said.

The storm also whipped up winds in the afternoon that knocked down at least two power lines in the city of Ventura, said police Lt. Bryan Roberts. As night fell, power outages there shut down several traffic lights, and malfunctioning railroad crossing arms on California 118 west of Moorpark backed up traffic for miles in both directions.

"We've been hopping," CHP Sgt. Randy Klucker said. "The roads have been difficult, and there's a fair amount of traffic because of the holiday weekend. People are trying to get home."

In Thousand Oaks, a plumber's van and a school bus collided at Janss and Montgomery roads. There were no students on the bus, but the van's driver was taken to a hospital.

The storm, which was expected to bring showers through the night, should have cleared the area by this morning, according to the National Weather Service. Dry conditions are expected to last through the weekend.

In Ventura County, rain levels varied from a tenth of an inch in Simi Valley to more than 2 inches in Santa Paula, according to the weather service. Except for the mountains, which got even more rain, Los Angeles County generally had between half an inch and an inch of rain, said meteorologist Curt Kaplan, most of it in the San Fernando Valley.

The snow level was expected to be 7,500 feet.

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