Posted BY: Wyatt | NwoReport

Roads were flooded throughout Southern California and thousands of people lost power Saturday as an intense storm stranded some drivers on mountain roads amidst heavy snow, ice, and rain.

The National Weather Service called the storm one of the strongest ever to hit the region.

“Areas in the Inland Empire near Fontana, Rialto, and Devore have now picked up more snow this winter than New York City and Philadelphia,” the NWS tweeted shortly after 4 p.m. “Y’all can have it back now …”

The storm and threat of blizzard conditions were expected to taper off Saturday evening, and Sunday will be relatively dry and cool in Los Angeles county, according to NWS meteorologist Rich Thompson. While the storm wraps up, however, there’s still a potential for thunderstorms into Saturday night, as well as landspouts, which unlike regular tornadoes form from the ground up and have weaker winds.

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Pea-sized hail may also be seen in the evening hours.

San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys were issued a winter weather advisory until 11:00 p.m., Thompson said. He said a dusting of snow was possible in the valleys and in foothill communities

“It wouldn’t be shocking to see snow or slurries down to 1,000 feet in the valleys,” he said.

The 5 Freeway at the Grapevine and Highway 14 were closed Saturday because of heavy snowfall and ice, making for dangerous conditions in the Southern California mountains. Highway 14 later reopened with CHP escorts. The Grapevine was to remain closed overnight into Sunday.

The combination of heavy and blowing snow, low visibility, and strong gusty south winds created blizzard conditions in the mountains on Saturday, the NWS said.

Snow even made a rare appearance in a number of towns, including Redlands, Claremont, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, and Upland.

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