LOS ANGELES — The latest storm in a string of wet weather hammered Southern California overnight, unleashing heavy rain and triggering a mudslide that blocked a freeway and stranded motorists early Wednesday.
Flash flood watches remained in effect for many areas as the system moved inland after bringing fierce thunderstorms to the greater Los Angeles area and several inches of snow to the mountains.
A torrent of mud and rocks covered part of State Route 91 in Orange County before dawn. Cars and trucks were stuck for about 90 minutes, but no injuries were reported.
"It's pretty bad. It's about 2 feet deep," Jeff Dean, a motorcyclist who was stranded, told KABC-TV about the mud on the roadway.
The eastbound lanes near Corona were expected to remain closed well into the rush hour commute.
The second of back-to-back storms prompted temporary evacuations Tuesday night in Camarillo Springs, which was hit by mudslides last week. This time, the wildfire-scarred hillsides held above the community about 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Forecasters warned of possible debris flows in areas that had been burned in recent fires.
Late Tuesday, torrential rain in Carson and Torrance flooded streets and left about a half-dozen cars stranded. But the downpour and the danger ended quickly, and there were no reports of injuries.
Rain was expected to taper off later Wednesday after dumping about an inch in the Los Angeles basin, and up to 2 inches in the mountains and foothills. Between and 3 to 6 inches of snow was expected above 6,000 feet.
The state has been hit hard by rain and snow over the past week, but the steady downpours have not ended a three-year drought.
This latest storm moved south after sweeping across Northern California, creating a chaotic evening commute in and around San Francisco.
Up to 7 inches of snow was expected in the Central Sierra, with wind gusts of up to 45 mph possible.
Recent storms have deluged the state. Last week's wind and rainfall caused widespread flooding and power outages in Northern California, including in downtown San Francisco.
Another weather system came through Monday, but forecasters say this week's storms aren't nearly as powerful as the one last week.