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Los Angeles Rain: Bad Weather Causes Spike In Car Accidents

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LOS ANGELES RAIN
Accidents spiked after it started raining. | Alamy

When it rains, it pours cliches in Southern California. And some are tired of hearing about it.

With a low-pressure system dropping rain across the region Thursday, one man's tweet from Azusa summed up what many think about those who wax long about beautiful dark clouds:

"'Overcast and rain is like my favorite weather' -- everyone from Southern California. Shut up."' -- Jared Hoeniges.

The 19-year-old graphic design student at Azusa Pacific University is not the biggest fan of rain. He moved from Seattle three weeks ago.

"That's part of the reason I came to Southern California," Hoeniges said. "After 10 months of (rain) it's not good. I let them know you may like it for a day, but I come from where it's like that 24/7. It would get old if you (lived there)."

The weather system dumped a tenth to a quarter-inch of rain below the foothills, a quarter to a half-inch in the foothills and a half-inch or more in the mountains, according to meteorologist Mike Watkins of the National Weather Service office in San Diego.

Watkins said Southern California will see similar rainfall into the weekend.

"The moisture that is pulling up is out of the south, from the tropics," Watkins said.

Drivers in Southern California didn't fare well Thursday.

By noon the California Highway Patrol reported hundreds of accidents from the 15 Freeway in Barstow to the 5 Freeway in Santa Clarita.

The CHP's Southern Division said there were 342 crashes reported in Los Angeles County between midnight and 9:30 a.m.

There were 80 crashes reported during the same time Jan. 17 when the weather was clear and sunny and temperatures were in the 70s.

In Ontario, the CHP investigated the scene of an overturned tractor trailer at the Milliken Avenue offramp of the westbound 10 Freeway.

Although the speed limit is 65 mph, motorists need to slow down in the rain, said Rick Quintero, a CHP spokesman for the division.

Quintero advises drivers to leave early for their destinations in order not to rush on rain-slicked roads.

"When you're rushing, you tend to speed," he said. "Allow some extra time. Consider alternate routes."

Freeway drivers should avoid the outer lanes because that is typically where water tends to collect, Quintero said.

He also said motorists should increase their distance from other vehicles, and use extra caution on cloverleaf exit ramps.

Some drivers Thursday were forced to dodge debris on the road.

Highway 18 near Big Bear Dam saw several rocks in the road, causing members of the online forum socalmountains.com to alert one another.

Mountain roads have been somewhat hazardous in recent days, according to those who posted on the site:

"Cold, frozen snow on the ground + rain = landslides on arctic circle. It always has. The rain melts the ice that's holding the rocks in place. In these conditions we've always chosen another route due to the risk of being hit by falling rocks!!" -- BootsNBridles.

"Yeah, that's why we had all the rock slides over the past week, especially on hwy 38, snow's melting from the warmer temps and stuff is giving way..." -- Benny (N6BWX).

"Yeah, 38 has been iffy too! We've been up and down it a few times lately and it's like playing dodge the rocks!" -- BootsNBridles.

Reach Josh via email, call him at 909-386-3894, or find him on Twitter at @RialtoNow. ___

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