L.A. County remains dry, most of Southern California avoids Northern California storm system
Update: This story has been updated with additional details from the Associated Press. In particular, more information on the California governor’s response.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An unusually severe winter storm moved across Southern California this week, bringing the heaviest snow to the region so far this year.
The storm is expected to drop a foot of snow in some areas of the Los Angeles area, while other parts could get 3 to 8 inches, according to the National Weather Service in Sacramento.
Some Southern California drivers took to the road earlier Friday, but traffic was much more limited on the already-sluggish freeways into Los Angeles.
“Usually they’re here, but not like this,” said Eric Cramon, who was driving in the San Francisco Bay area, where he could see up to 12 inches of snow. “The wind made it harder, making it more dangerous.”
Some areas were still dealing with sleet or ice, and parts of L.A. were expected to get up to a foot of rain. The city is bracing for the worst.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declared a state of emergency Friday night, saying the city is having to reroute traffic to other jurisdictions if the snow and rain keep coming down.
He also said the city would need the help of the National Guard if the situation worsens Sunday and Monday.
“We’re going to take care of the city the same way we take care of people in our community, which is with love, concern, and caring,” Villaraigosa said. “With love, because we’re dealing with a lot of people. We’re dealing with people who really need help. They need loving care and love. And with caring because we have a lot of people in this city that are going to need medical attention and help.”
The weather service has issued a special weather statement for Los Angeles County, where the storm is expected to dump up to 6 inches of snow, and for Ventura County, where up to a foot of snow is also possible.
In this photo from Jan. 14, 2014, passengers walk in a snow-covered parking garage in Los Angeles following heavy snowfall caused by a winter storm.
Residents in Los Angeles and Ventura counties will be directed by officials to stay out of their neighborhoods