Southern California winter storm downs power lines from Beverly Hills to Malibu

The silhouette of a man walking through the rain with an umbrella on Hollywood boulevard is seen in Hollywood, California.
The silhouette of a man walking through the rain with an umbrella on Hollywood boulevard is seen in Hollywood, California.
Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

A wet winter storm moved through Southern California, bringing downpours and gusty winds that knocked out power in some areas and caused traffic snarls and accidents on the freeways.

The National Weather Service says the heaviest rains ended by mid-morning Saturday but scattered downpours are expected throughout the day.

Although forecasters say less than an inch of rain is expected Saturday, the California Highway Patrol has reported more than 300 vehicles crashed as steady rain greeted Southland residents getting up today.

The CHP investigated 315 crashes on Southland freeways and surface streets by 9 a.m. today, up from the 55 wrecks reported on dry roads during the same period last weekend.

A palm tree was to blame when it hit power lines in Malibu early Saturday, knocking out power to 2,188 homes and businesses according the Malibu Patch.

The National Weather Service reported .70 inches of rain fell at the Los Angeles Civic Center, and .64 inches at LAX. But more than that landed in the South Bay, San Gabriel Mountains, and Malibu area.

A county fire station in Trancas Canyon measured 1.34 inches of rain, and 1.22 inches fell at a weather station near Newhall. The Seoulveda Pass got .67 inches, and Hollywood saw a .63 inch rainfall.

Showers moved into the Southland during the predawn hours and left to the east by midmorning, when patches of sunshine emerged from the cloud deck. Sactrtered showers were predicted for the rest of the day, but more rain was expected Sunday night and Monday, according to the NWS.

Several freeways were blocked by surface flooding, crashed cars and trucks, or combinations of problems. The multilevel interchange of the 210, 134 and 710 freeways in Pasadena was snarled in several directions by flooding or wrecks.

Westbound 210 lanes were blocked for four hours by a truck that jackknifed before dawn. And the tunnel that brings the eastbound 210 through the interchange was expected to be closed until 1

Southern California Edison officials say downed power lines caused scattered electricity outages in Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Malibu.

A wind advisory will be in effect from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Antelope Valley in northern Los Angeles County, where 50 mph gusts are likely.

The California Highway Patrol blames the weather for an increase in traffic crashes on LA County freeways.

The NWS says a second storm accompanied by a cold front will sweep through the region late Sunday into early Monday.