Jeff Chiu, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — There was good news and bad news on Wednesday in a winter storm that gave California a much-needed dose of rain and snow.
The snow caused long delays and major headaches for drivers, but thousands of kids got the day off from school and were left with lots of snow to play in — and most had brilliant blue skies to play under.
Interstate 5 and Highway 58 reopened Wednesday as the storm moved east toward Arizona.
Snow days were declared in several school districts in San Bernardino and San Diego counties, including Hesperia, Big Bear and San Diego's Mountain Empire schools.
For the second time in two days, a scheduled baseball game in Bakersfield between California State University Bakersfield and Cal State Northridge was postponed due to weather. Tuesday's game will be played April 10. No new date has been set for Wednesday's rainout.
In Tehachapi, about 125 miles north of Los Angeles, it was like New Year's Eve overnight, said Celina Conant, manager of the Best Western Plus Country Park Hotel. Every room in town was full.
No injuries were reported on any of the closed freeways.
In Sonora, about 300 miles north of Tehachapi, as many as 75 vehicles crashed or were stranded on Highway 49 and nearby roadways when it started snowing heavily in the Sierra Nevada foothills on Tuesday, California Highway Patrol Lt. Scott Clamp said.
"Travelers were just not prepared," Clamp said. There were no major injuries.
Early Wednesday, the CHP reported white-out conditions on Interstate 8 west of State Route 94 in San Diego County. At the same time, several accidents were called in near Pine Valley.
The storm from the Gulf of Alaska brought the first significant rainfall to Northern California in several weeks.
Some Southern California mountain resorts reported 14 inches of fresh snow from the storm overnight.
In the Sacramento area on Tuesday, a tornado with winds up to 70 mph was spotted north of Red Bluff but it caused minimal damage.
Experts say California has had a colder-than-normal winter overall.
The storm brought snow and colder-than-average temperatures to Arizona. Flagstaff public schools and Northern Arizona University were closed Wednesday because of the winter storm.
The metropolitan Phoenix area was expected to get nearly a half-inch of rain as the storm moved inland, and temperatures were forecast to drop to the mid-50s, about 15 degrees below average for this time of year.
The storm was expected to drop as much as a foot of snow as it moved into parts of Nevada, Colorado and Utah.
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