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1st in Series of Storms Brings Rain, Dangerous Driving Conditions to SoCal

The first in a series of storms has arrived in Southern California, bringing heavy showers and dangerous driving conditions Thursday morning.

A big rig overturned amid heavy rainfall in Sylmar on Jan. 19, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

A big rig overturned amid heavy rainfall in Sylmar on Jan. 19, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)

Showers began late Wednesday and intensified overnight, leaving slick roadways for early morning drivers.

In Sylmar, a big rig overturned just before 3 a.m., prompting officials to close southbound 5 and 14 freeway truck lanes.

A SigAlert was expected to remain in place until about noon, according to the California Highway Patrol’s traffic incident log.

A crash on the westbound 101 Freeway in Sherman Oaks sent one vehicle down an embankment at about 2:30 a.m.

Another vehicle sheared a fire hydrant in Tarzana sending even more water into the streets and flooding a portion of the 19000 block of Ventura Boulevard.

The heavy rainfall also dislodged several large boulders on Malibu Canyon Road in the Santa Monica Mountains.

CHP officials had to close the road in both directions due to the debris, the National Weather Service tweeted.

Thursday’s storm is expected to bring about an inch of rain to coastal and valley areas. Foothill areas could see as much as two inches of rain, according to the Weather Service.

Snow levels are expected to remain between 5,000 and 6,000 feet.

Forecasters are warning that periods of heavy rain could produce mudslides in recent burn areas.

K-Rails are in place to help protect residents in Duarte, just below the area burned by the Fish Fire last June.

The area is under a yellow alert, which means evacuation orders are not yet in effect. However, intermittent street closures may occur, the cities website stated.

The series of storms has also prompted a high surf warning, and has some coastal residents concerned about possible flooding.

The high surf warning is set to begin for Orange and San Diego county beaches beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday and continue all the way until 10 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Weather Service.

Sets to 16 feet could develop Friday, when the surf should be at its most dangerous, according to forecasters.

High surf warning are issued to warn beachgoers of very dangerous swimming conditions and prepare residents along the shoreline of possible flooding.

A massive pool of water had already formed early Thursday in front of several homes in Seal Beach.

After Thursday’s initial storm moves out, a second storm is lined up to arrive later in the evening and continue through Friday.

Thursday night’s storm, the coldest of the three, could drop snow levels to around 4,000 feet and bring icy conditions to drivers on the Grapevine.

A third storm, possibly the most powerful, is slated to arrive late Saturday night and could bring showers through Monday.

Forecasters are calling for the three storms to bring up to 6 inches of rain to the coastal and valley areas, with up to 9 inches possible in the foothills and mountains.