With Heavy Rains, SoCal Sees Stormy Start to Winter

On the morning of Dec. 6, 2018, a car is seen stuck in packed up mud along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu after heavy rains hit the Southland and caused mudslides. (Credit: Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times)

On the morning of Dec. 6, 2018, a car is seen stuck in packed up mud along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu after heavy rains hit the Southland and caused mudslides. (Credit: Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times)

As heavy rain pelted Hollywood Burbank Airport on Thursday morning, the pilot of Southwest Flight 278 out of Oakland came over the intercom with a warning: The runway was short and wet. It was going to be a bumpy landing.

Paris Organist, a 31-year-old Oakland resident sitting in the front row, put up his foot to brace himself as the plane rolled off the end of the runway just after 9 a.m., its landing gear plowing into a concrete barrier designed to stop airplanes that overshot their mark. Mud splattered on the plane’s windows.

“We looked it up on Google Maps, and it showed we were almost to the road.… We noticed the plane had sunken into the ground,” Organist said.

At around the same time, 58 miles northwest at the California Highway Patrol’s Fort Tejon office in Lebec, Officer Jeff Burdick started hearing a gaggle of radio traffic about the 5 Freeway through the Grapevine: Crash. Spin-out. Another crash. Out the window he could see that it had started snowing heavily.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.