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Thousands Without Power as Storm Sweeps So. Calif.

March 18, 2012

By Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

March 18--SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA -- The front end of a winter storm drenched Southern California and forecasters expect there could be thunderstorms and dangerous driving conditions before it`s all over Sunday.

The storm front and strong winds converged first in Los Angeles County and is expected to bring three to four hours of moderate but steady rain starting about 9 a.m. Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. Up to an inch and a half of rainfall is expected in inland areas and mountains and foothills could see up to four inches.

As of 7 p.m., 13,082 customers are without power due to rain, Southern California Edison representatives said, with the hardest hit areas being Adelanto, Cudahy, Oxnard, Hanford and Malibu.

Forecasters said the rain would then taper into showers as cold air moves in behind the front, causing snow levels to drop. Snowfall totals of 12 to 18 inches are expected above 6,000 feet later Saturday.

Forecasts suggests there are is also a chance of thunderstorms through the weekend.

The weather could cause hazardous driving conditions in mountain areas, including the 5 and 14 freeways.

The storm`s effects will set the stage for a cold and wet Los Angeles Marathon Sunday. High temperatures are expected to be in the mid to upper 50s, at least 12 degrees below normal for this time of year.

Residents in the foothills are encouraged to get free sand bags from their local firestations. In Pasadena, sand bags will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at Fire Station 37 on 3430 E. Foothill Blvd. and at Station 38 on 1150 Linda Vista Avenue.

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(c)2012 KTLA-TV, Los Angeles

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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