Some Southern California residents welcome rain after dry spell

Southern California was getting drenched Friday by its largest storm in years as slick roads snarled traffic and hillside homes were evacuated in advance of possible mudslides.

But some residents greeted the downpour with a collective shrug.


"What weather?" said Jerry Norek, 79, seated in a chair inside his Sunset Beach garage. "We get so little weather here in Southern California, when we have a little here, everyone goes bananas."

On the other side of Pacific Coast Highway, Jimmy Carman, 61, allowed himself a quiet moment alone on a berm overlooking the ocean that ripples in front of his home. In open-toed sandals with black socks, and a weather-proof jacket, the only giveaway that Carman was cold was the blush forming on his cheeks.

He greeted the rain as a nice change from the unusually dry weather, which he said "has been kind of scary."

"It's been what, three or four years since we had a big storm?" he said.

Farther north in downtown Los Angeles, Michael McWilliams, 61, said it would have been nice if the rain could spread itself out rather than dumping "all at once."

But as he smoked a cigarette near Main and 2nd streets, McWilliams said he spent a year on Guam during a 1970s stint in the Air Force, so he become used to storms.

"It never rains in California, this is only liquid sunshine," he said, pointing to the gray sky above him.

Kim Henderson, who was sitting outside a cafe on Main Street, said she loved seeing rain -- both because it cleans the city and because her friends on the East Coast were getting sick of hearing about all the L.A. sunshine.

This storm was particularly special to her, she said, because it started on Thursday -- her 50th birthday.

"I think of it like a present," she said.