File: Traffic through the Sepulveda Boulevard tunnel under Los Angeles International Airport is backed up as a lane is closed due to flooding while an airliner lands, as rain falls on a large part of Southern California Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2010.
The Sunday storm sent an inch-and-a-third of rain pouring down on the Sepulveda Pass. That sent a river of mud and water onto lanes of the 405 Freeway near Mulholland Drive, and into backyards near Ventura Boulevard. The biggest problem on a rainy Sunday was at LAX.
The problem wasn’t with the planes landing on the runway. It was in the tunnel under the runway.
You know that Sepulveda Boulevard between the Century Freeway and Century Boulevard runs under the main runway at LAX. If you get enough rain in the right spot, the Sepulveda tunnel will flood — and Sunday afternoon, it flooded enough to close the southbound lanes.
That fouled up traffic. Airport officials told anyone heading to the airport to catch a flight to leave 45 minutes earlier than usual just to be safe.
By 8 o’clock, a convoy of maintenance trucks showed up to pump out the water. A half-hour past midnight, airport traffic was back to normal.
Another storm will show up on Thanksgiving Day, but that’s the day after the busiest travel day of the year.
One more note about the Sunday storm: the L.A. County health officer says don’t swim in the ocean until Wednesday evening — too much bacteria from storm drain runoff. And that Thanksgiving Day storm could extend that warning well into the weekend.