CA buffeted by storms

BY JOSHUA SKILLINGTON | Los Angeles, CA | January 11, 2001

Rain, snow and wind battered Los Angeles on Thursday, causing a dangerous morning commute and reports of mudslides blocking

mountain roadways. "We received calls about wires down, flooded streets, accidents, downed trees, people trapped in their cars in

intersections, flooding in underground parking areas," said Jim Wells, Los Angeles City Fire Department spokesman.

Underground parking garages were flooded and traffic was backed up at mountain passes. Flash-flood warnings were issued due to more

than seven inches of rainfall early Thursday in Los Angeles and Ventura counties.

A 40-mile stretch of Interstate five was shut down because of white outs. Currently, 20,000 people are out of power.

"About 3,400 people were still without power on Thursday afternoon," said Wendy Yancy, spokesperson for Los Angeles Department of

Water and Power.

"We've whittled it down and we have crews on site at all the remaining problems. The first good rainfall usually produces power outages

because equipment gathers dust and grime during the dry season. During the first heavy rain, the dirt mixes with the rain and it causes

glitches. We've had a good cleaning over the last 24 hours. Perhaps we'll weather the next storm better," she said.

Meanwhile, state officials say they may call for rolling black-outs due to the state's ongoing power crisis.

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