SoCal Storm: PCH Shuts Down in Huntington Beach; Scattered Showers Likely to Continue

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Crews blocked a stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway in Orange County as a storm drenched Southern California on Wednesday.

The shutdown happened just as flash flood watches in parts of Los Angeles and Ventura counties expired at 11 a.m. The National Weather Service said while the advisory has been lifted, "scattered showers with brief heavy downpours will likely continue through the afternoon."

Forecasters were concerned about thunderstorms, with up to an inch of rain per hour possible.


As expected, the heavy rain affected morning commute.

The southbound lanes of the Pacific Coast Highway shut down in the Huntington Beach area from Warner Avenue to Seapoint Street.

Earlier, big rig accidents on the 5 and 14 freeways prompted temporary closures on both roadways. Several SigAlerts needed to be issued on the 101 Freeway across the San Fernando Valley.

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Canyon Country

Crews were out in force Wednesday morning trying to keep rain off of a hillside in Canyon Country.

A portion of the hillside gave way following a storm last month, which prompted officials to yellow tag several homes along Terri Drive.

Aerial views from Sky5 last week showed black tarps covering the hillside as residents prepared for the coming storms.

Landscapers were using pumps Wednesday to try and keep water from pooling around the homes and on the hillside, Earth Services Landscape Development spokesperson Amy Ambrose said.

Video also showed workers pushing the water with brooms to keep pools from forming. “Everyone’s keeping a very close eye on it,” Ambrose said.

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Residents in the Woolsey Fire burn areas also kept a close eye on the storm.

Periods of heavy rain fell Wednesday morning, however no major mudslides have been reported.

Drivers were warned to avoid canyon roads during periods of rain.

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Santa Barbara County

A flash flood watch for Santa Barbara county was allowed to expire early Wednesday morning.

Evacuation orders for residents in the Whittier, Sherpa and Thomas fire burn areas were canceled at 8 a.m., according to the Santa Barbara County emergency information website.

About 3,000 residents had been under evacuation orders, including those in Montecito where a deadly mudslide killed 21 people over a year ago.

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Lightning storms

The storm brought a dramatic display of lightning along the coast Tuesday night.

Nearly 1,500 pulses of lightning were recorded off the coast in one five-minute stretch alone, the Weather Service told the Los Angeles Times.

Thunder and lightning were seen for more than an hour in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The lightning storms were set off by what was described as a “jet streak” by the Weather Service.

The showers are expected to taper off Wednesday afternoon, however, a chance of rain is possible for both Thursday and Friday.

Saturday is expected to remain dry, according to the Weather Service.

Temperatures are likely to remain below normal the entire week.

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