Storm That Slammed Antelope Valley Offers Preview of What El Niño Could Bring to SoCal

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A sandal is left behind where a Mini Cooper was buried in a mudslide in Elizabeth Lake. (Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

The storm that slammed into the high desert and mountains of Southern California this week was one for the record books.

Intense rain sent massive mudflows onto highways, picking up cars and pushing them into one another. Hundreds of vehicles were trapped in mud up to 20 feet deep; in some cases, motorists were stranded overnight.

In one spot in the Antelope Valley, the storm dumped 1.81 inches of rain in 30 minutes on Thursday, in what the National Weather Service described as a 1,000-year rain event.

“It’s absolutely incredible,” said Robbie Munroe, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

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