SoCal storm forces hundreds to evacuate |

SoCal storm forces hundreds to evacuate

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES ” A powerful pre-winter storm slammed into the state on Monday, snarling traffic all over Southern California, causing at least one traffic fatality and forcing hundreds of people to flee their homes in a suburb that was devastated by wildfire just last month and was now under the threat of mudslides.

Elsewhere, the main route connecting Las Vegas to Southern California was closed by heavy snow in the mountainous Cajon Pass east of Los Angeles. North of the city, the main route connecting Los Angeles to San Francisco was snarled by snowfall that forced the California Highway Patrol to shepherd motorists across the Tejon Pass in caravans.

In the San Diego area, at least one person was killed when an armored truck slid off a wet highway and rolled down an embankment, the California Highway Patrol reported. It wasn’t immediately known if anybody else was hurt.

In Yorba Linda, where 100 homes were lost to a wildfire last month, hundreds of homes in the canyon areas on the east end of town were ordered evacuated Monday morning. Residents had been advised to leave as early as Sunday night and an evacuation center was opened at the city’s Tommy Lasorda Jr. Field House.

“It is mandatory now, unknown duration,” Lt. Jim Tibbetts of the Brea Police Department, which patrols Yorba Linda, said Monday.

The storm was part of the same upper low pressure system that brought heavy snow to Portland, Ore., on Sunday, snarling traffic and delaying airline flights out of that city, said National Weather Service meteorologist Steven Van Horn.

“It’s making it’s way south down the West Coast,” Van Horn said. “It’s going to be the cause for any sort of showers we will have now through Wednesday.

Rainfall totals for Southern California on Monday morning ranged from 1 inch at Moorpark to nearly 2 inches at Glendale. Snow was falling in areas above 3,000 feet, and the Lockwood Valley in the mountains of Ventura County had been hit with 8 inches by midmorning.

The storm was expected to linger in the area through Wednesday, Van Horn said, although showers were expected to be scattered and lighter on Tuesday and Wednesday.