Rains Snarl Traffic With Several Mishaps

A storm more suited to February than June dropped rain across Ventura County on Thursday and contributed to several traffic accidents.

"It's been busy because of the rain," said Bob Inman, a dispatcher with the California Highway Patrol. "But nothing serious--they've all been minor fender-benders."

One accident on the Ventura Freeway, near Rose Avenue, tied up traffic for miles in both directions. About 3 p.m., four vehicles, including a semi-trailer truck, piled into one another on the freeway's northbound side.

Inman said all four vehicles were driven away. No one involved required hospital treatment.

The storm system blew in from the Gulf of Alaska, carried by a jetstream swinging farther south than normal for this time of year. It dumped 0.21 inch of rain on downtown Los Angeles, a record for this date, said National Weather Service meteorologist Clay Morgan.

Elsewhere, the same system produced thunderstorms and hail in the San Joaquin Valley and funnel clouds both in Sutter County and near Chico.

Ventura received 0.16 inch of rain, which was a record. According to WeatherData, a private weather information firm, Ventura has never had rain on June 15 during the 46 years its records have been kept.

The city's total rainfall since Oct. 1 now stands at 32.37 inches. In a typical year, the total would be just 14.07 inches.

"We're at roughly double what is normal," said John Weikel, a hydrologist with the county's flood control department. "It's been a very unusual year."

By late afternoon, the rain had stopped in most parts of the county. Today's forecast calls for a chance of rain only in the mountains and desert, the weather service reported.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

County Rainfall Here are rainfall figures from the Ventura County Flood Control Department for the 24-hour period ending at 8 a.m. Thursday. Oct. 1 is the beginning of the official rain year.

Rainfall Rainfall Normal rainfall Location last 24 hours since Oct. 1 to date Camarillo 0.00 24.41 12.87 Casitas Dam 0.13 49.29 22.89 El Rio 0.00 29.67 14.71 Fillmore 0.24 33.85 18.26 Moorpark 0.20 26.70 14.41 Ojai 0.35 42.33 21.00 Upper Ojai 0.39 50.20 23.13 Oxnard 0.04 28.25 14.21 Piru 0.08 31.86 16.88 Santa Paula 0.24 34.74 17.06 Simi Valley 0.08 28.23 14.10 Thousand Oaks 0.08 29.08 15.06 Ventura Govt. Center 0.16 32.37 14.07

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