Californians dig out after first major drizzle of 2015
No official estimates are in, but several cars have collided due to slick streets, and damages to homes and business may total into the dozens of dollars.
Power has been fully restored to three houses on West Sycamore St. after a panicked homeowner tried to pull down Christmas lights at the height of the storm. "He fell off a ladder and shorted out a major trunk line when a string of lights dipped into a backyard fountain," said Susan Contreras of the Los Angeles DWP. "It took a whole fire crew an hour to convince the guy's wife that it wasn't the apocalypse and that she should perhaps seek help for an unrelated drinking problem."
"First stop is the car wash," said Daisy McClure of La Canada-Flintridge, looking solemnly at rain damage to her 2015 Hyundai Elantra. "I just bought that car, and now this. My husband says that Foothill Auto Wash can do miracles with water spots, but I don't know."
Jeff Dillow of West Los Angeles was less optimistic. "I've never seen drizzle like that," he exclaimed, his eyes moistening at a clearing in the clouds. "The dog got wet, the bikes are wet..." he said, running his hand through his hair and walking away.
Kim Banda, an aide to L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, is waiting for more information before the mayor can declare the region a disaster area. He has warned people, though, to stock up on water and basic goods and to keep pets inside.
Meteorologists have said that the tempest was brought about by a low offshore system from Mexico, calling it "an anomaly." Tony DeGrandis from the National Weather Service says that, with climate change, Southern Californians can expect even more such unstable air masses. "This year, Los Angeles is looking at seven, maybe eight inches of rain. You can never let your guard down," DeGrandis reported.
In the San Fernando Valley, businesses on a long stretch of Ventura Blvd. were shaking off moisture from rain mats and sweeping fallen leaves. Ileanna Marsh, a Studio City resident, was philosophical. "You have to be a pretty durable kind of person to live in this place," she said. "It's not for sissies."