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Travelers Warnings Go Up as Storm Moves Through : Storm Alerts Up in Desert, Mountains

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Times Staff Writer

A winter storm watch was issued for Southern California mountains and travelers advisories were posted for local deserts as a dank, blustery Pacific weather front gusted into Southern California this afternoon on the heels of an earlier storm.

Snow, heavy at times, was forecast for Southland mountains above 5,000 feet, and the National Weather Service said the combined weather systems could drop as much as three inches of rain on already sodden hillside areas--posing the threat of mud slides in fire-denuded canyons in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

The falling snow in mountain passes and resort areas, blowing dust and sand in the Mojave, Tehachapi and Antelope Valley deserts and rain-slick streets in the Los Angeles metropolitan area created hazardous driving conditions through much of the Southland, but traffic was generally light because of the four-day Thanksgiving weekend.

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10-Vehicle Accident

However, there was at least one major accident in the metropolitan area--a mid-morning, 10-car smashup on the San Bernardino Freeway at Santa Anita Avenue in the El Monte area that blocked most of the eastbound lanes for about an hour. An ambulance was dispatched to the scene, but there were no immediate reports on the extent of injuries.

The only other problems reported by noon were scattered power outages, none of which caused any major disruptions.

A feeder line that apparently shorted in the rain caused a power outage to about 1,500 customers in the Rancho Palos Verdes area about 2 a.m., but service was restored within three hours. A blackout hit 600 customers in the Westchester area shortly after midnight, but emergency generators provided power at Los Angeles International Airport, and the lights for residential customers were back on by 2:35 a.m.

Figueroa Darkened

About 800 homes in the Wilshire district lost power for several hours this morning before service was restored. About 20 buildings along Figueroa Street between 1st and 3rd streets were blacked out for about an hour Thursday night.

This afternoon’s storm came so close behind an earlier wet-weather system that there was scarcely a break, with intermittent showers continuing throughout the day.

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