One of the busiest travel days of the year is turning into a nightmare for drivers as rain and snow continue to fall across Southern California Thursday.
The cold storm system moved into the region on Christmas Day and prompted officials to close the 5 Freeway over the Grapevine in both directions about 10:30 p.m.
Several drivers were trapped between Lake Hughes and Grapevine Road, the California Highway Patrol said.
The roadway remained closed Thursday morning.
Heavy snow was also falling on the 15 Freeway in the Cajon Pass area. Drivers were warned to expect significant delays and were asked to avoid the area if possible.
Officials closed the freeway in both directions due to the snow Thursday morning.
The northbound 14 Freeway was also closed at Soledad Canyon Road due to white out conditions, the CHP tweeted.
A winter storm warning is in place for the San Bernardino and Riverside county mountains through 6 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service. A warning is also in place until 10 p.m. Thursday for the Los Angeles County mountain areas.
One to 2 feet of snow is expected to fall in the local mountains with snow levels falling as low as 2,500 feet, the Weather Service stated.
The Antelope Valley is looking for up to 6 inches of snow through Thursday. Roughly 2 to 4 inches may fall in the Cuyama Valley.
Rain was also impacting local freeways Thursday morning.
A SigAlert had to be issued on the northbound 5 Freeway south of the 110 Freeway. All lanes were blocked due to flooding, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Traffic was being diverted off at Broadway. Officials expected the closure to continue until at least 6 a.m.
Flooding also forced the temporary closure on a portion of the 710 Freeway at Slauson Avenue. All southbound lanes were blocked with traffic being taken off the freeway at Atlantic, the CHP tweeted.
A tree toppled onto a 60 Freeway transition road to the 605 Freeway just after 4 a.m. A couple of vehicles may have hit the downed tree, which was causing traffic delays, CHP officials said.
Other downed trees were reported across the Southland, including in Woodland Hills where a tree fell onto an apartment building.
Heavy downpours at times on Wednesday led to a record amount of rainfall in Long Beach.
At one point on Wednesday, a tornado warning was issued for Carpinteria, Montecito and Summerland. The warning was canceled later in the evening as the storm was no longer powerful enough to produce a tornado, according to the Weather Service.
Drier, sunnier skies are expected to return on Friday before another chance of rain arrives early next week.
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