(CBS13/AP) — A storm drenching California has brought much-needed rain in a dry winter but it also washed out a highway, buried the Sierra Nevada in snow and prompted warnings of possible floods and mudslides near areas scorched by wildfires.
The atmospheric river of moisture that barreled ashore in the north early in the week forced a massive Interstate 80 shutdown in Colfax on Thursday.
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Crashes, spin-outs, and more left traffic backlogged and travelers stranded for hours. I-80 was backed up for miles in some spots.
The storm rolled into Southern California Thursday night, pummeling the region with rain, and was expected to head eastward.
The National Weather Service issued flood advisories for all of Los Angeles County — the nation’s largest with about 10 million residents — and flash flood watches were in place for wildfire-scarred areas in Orange and San Diego counties.
Residents of several Orange County canyons were given an evacuation warning and urged to be prepared to leave quickly if necessary.
“Evacuation routes can quickly become impassable due to mud, debris or flooding,” the Sheriff’s Department warned.
Early Friday, a tractor-trailer flipped on a rainy Los Angeles interstate, and small mudslides blocked garage doors in some neighborhoods.
East of L.A., about 8,200 people were under orders to evacuate foothill neighborhoods beneath the burn scar of last summer’s El Dorado Fire near…