Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Story updated at 12:20 p.m., Nov. 1, 2014

Up to about half an inch of rain fell across most of Los Angeles County Saturday, as the first winter storm of the season made its way across the region.

But Orange County did not get as much rain, and precautionary evacuation orders for the steep, burned areas of Silverado Canyon were lifted before sunrise.

And a “small but potent vortex” of rain was moving towards Los Angeles from the Pismo Beach area, carrying in it the potential for scattered downpours or even a thunderstorms, the National Weather Service said.

But the forecast gave scant possibility for more than a tenth of an inch of additional rain, and little chance for any rain at all south of the mountains.

More than a foot of mud washed onto Elizabeth Lake Road at Walkatop Road during the rain in Lake Elizabeth, a small hamlet about 10 miles west of Palmdale. County road crews worked into the morning to remove it.

Overnight, one lane of Mount Baldy Road was blocked by a debris flow just south of the first tunnel around 5:05 a.m. About 1.34 inches of rain was measured at an automated rain gauge operated by Los Angeles County near there.

Another county gauge posted .67 inches of rain overnight near the San Gabriel Canyon burn area above Azusa. Police there reported the hillsides were stable overnight.

North of Newhall, Bouquet Canyon captured .55 inches of overnight rain. Sheriff’s deputies reported the fire-denuded hillsides were not causing any problems on Bouquet Canyon Road.

In Malibu, Encinal Canyon Road was briefly blocked by a rockslide as an unofficial .51 inches of rain soaked the Santa Monica Mountains. It was reopened by county crews before sunrise.

Other rainfall totals included .59 inches at both Glendale and La Habra Heights, .37 at Venice, .43 at the Bel Air Hotel, above Westwood.

The Orange County Emergency Operations Center announced it had lifted its evacuation order for the burn area in Silverado Canyon at 4:30 a.m. The National Weather Service, however, noted there was still potential for heavy rain and extended its flash flood watch for Silverado Canyon through 9 p.m. tonight.

Snow dusted the local mountains above the 6,000-foot elevation, and prompted L.A. County’s only major ski area, Mountain High, to voice hope that the combination of natural and blown snow will allow it to beat its mid- November opening day average.

About a foot of snow fell overnight onto the Los Angeles watershed at Mammoth Mountain, the ski area there reported.

CHP Officer Tony Polizzi said there had been a significant increase in the number of crashes as the rain fell. Most of them were single-vehicle wrecks on freeway entry and exit ramps, or on transition lanes between freeways, Polizzi said.

—City News Service

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