Valleywide : Rain Causes Traffic Problems on Freeways

Slightly less than half an inch of rain fell on the San Fernando Valley on Tuesday, cooling off the recent heat wave and causing havoc on the freeways.

But the 9.8-inch total rainfall for the season--running from July through March--falls short of the 15-inch norm for the Valley, National Weather Service officials said.

"It looks like [the storm] is pretty much clearing out," Vladimir Ryshko of the National Weather Service said late Tuesday.

"But there will be some residual showers behind the cold front."

Beginning today, Ryshko said, the Valley has a 20% chance of showers through Friday.

On Los Angeles-area freeways, about 260 accidents--none fatal--were reported between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday, said Sgt. Ernie Garcia of the California Highway Patrol. By comparison, during the same time period one dry day last week, only about 60 accidents were reported, he said.

Most of Tuesday's accidents "were caused by excessive speed and following too close," Garcia said.

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