Los Angeles County issued its first flood warning on Wednesday

Widespread rain and winds hit Southern California, with mountain snow on the way.

SANTA ANA – The skies were dark and the rain was steady when the first flood warning was issued in Los Angeles County on Wednesday, as strong storms moved into the state from the west coast.

Water runoff from above 3,000-foot contours and mountain snow melt put the flood stage at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, the National Weather Service said.

The agency urged everyone to stay out of the region, and only drive if necessary if a need to be out there was critical.

For hours Wednesday, authorities posted the warning for the Santa Ana River near the junction of West Pacific Highway and State Route 58 at 5:30 p.m. local time.

No other roads in the area were at risk, however, and the advisory was lifted about an hour later.

“We feel safe where we are today, but we want to ensure that residents are aware of any significant weather events,” Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Brian Moore told reporters. “We are very lucky with this system.”

The weather service also issued a flood watch at Santa Ana to the east along Santa Fe Street from the junction of State Route 58 and Colorado Boulevard to El Segundo Boulevard and on to Colorado Boulevard.

A flood watch at 5 p.m. on State Route 58 at El Segundo Boulevard and West Pacific Highway also was posted for the Santa Ana River between the two highways for the same area as the first warning.

The Santa Ana River is “expected to reach its flood stage by 4 p.m. today.”

“We strongly urge residents to avoid travel in the areas outlined in all of the flood warnings,” said meteorologist Peter Kwei of the National Weather Service’s Central Valley forecast office. “Water runoff from above 3,000-foot contours and mountain snow melt put the flood stage at the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, the National Weather Service said.

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