CHP closes down Grapevine due to weather
WRIGHTWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- The California Highway Patrol was forced to close down the Grapevine Friday night due to weather conditions.
The announcement was made shortly before 10 p.m. There was no word on when the road would reopen, although it was expected to be closed for hours.
The closure came as a severe spring storm slammed Southern California on Friday, bringing rain, lightning and thunder. Flames erupted at one house after lightning struck the roof.
Firefighters believe lightning struck a pipe on the roof of the house, which sparked the fire in the garage. The entire garage erupted into an inferno, with flames shooting 20 feet high, even as firefighters scrambled to douse flames.
"We are just trying to confirm it with the National Weather Service," said Oxnard Fire Capt. Kevin Schroepfer.
No one was injured in the incident.
The FAA confirmed that several flights had been hit by lighting on Friday afternoon, but none of the planes were damaged.
Comedian Joan Rivers was on a flight that had been hit by lightning. She Tweeted about her experience, saying, "I just landed on a plane from LA that was STRUCK by lightning. Thank God everyone is fine."
The FAA says planes are equipped to handle lightning strikes.
Power outages follow heavy rain
Heavy rain caused some minor street flooding in many areas, and thousands were affected by power outages. According to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, 5,000 customers lost power in the city of L.A. Del Rey and Exposition were the most affected neighborhoods.
Crews worked quickly to restore power, but it was unclear when it would be fully restored. As of 5 p.m., 2,569 customers remained without power.
The leading edge of the storm arrived Thursday night in Ventura. A heavy downpour hit downtown Ventura just before 10 p.m. And it wasn't just rain - there was thunder, lightning and hail.
On the beaches, even experienced surfers decided to sit this one out.
"It's pretty gnarly, it's nasty, it's cold, it's windy. I'm not getting in the water," said Henry Sachs.
Wet roads cause accidents on SoCal roads
The wet weather caused a mess on Southern California roads. According to the California Highway Patrol, there were 366 accidents reported between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m., compared to 138 reported crashes a week ago in the same time frame.
On the 101 Freeway at Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas, an accident involving a school bus backed up traffic, and the road had to be temporarily shut down during the morning commute. Two vehicles went off a transition road at the 405 and 101 freeways, closing another road in Sherman Oaks.
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