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9/23/2007

Downpour pounds Southland

Breaking Storm News
California, USA
Photo:
A rainbow forms over Los Angeles City Hall at sunset after a stormy day.

An out-of-season storm lashed Southern California with thunderous squalls Saturday and wreaked havoc across the region, trapping cars in mud, sending so much polluted water to the coast that officials warned people not to go into the ocean, and contributing, officials suspect, to traffic accidents that killed at least five people. The RARE storm, the product of a low-pressure system known as an "orphan," moved out of the area Saturday night. In perhaps the most dramatic incident, mud, ash and debris swept down hillsides near the west end of Griffith Park, overflowing a clogged drainage basin, oozing across Forest Lawn Drive and trapping 14 vehicles. Most vehicles were parked and unoccupied at the time, though several drivers got stuck while stopped at red lights. Witnesses described a frenzied scene, with lava-like goop seeping down the hills and victims racing to their cars to try to escape.
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