Santa Clarita faces freeway closures amid flood advisory, snowfall 

Snow falls on the tops of parked cars at the intersection of Ralphs Ranch Road and Gorman School Road in Gorman, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023.
Snow falls on the tops of parked cars at the intersection of Ralphs Ranch Road and Gorman School Road in Gorman, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. Chris Torres/The Signal

Santa Clarita residents are facing many warnings and restrictions in response to snow and flooding from heavy precipitation starting Wednesday night and continuing on into Saturday night.  

According to the National Weather Service, the Santa Clarita Valley is currently forecasted to experience rain and thunderstorms between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturday. A chance of showers and thunderstorms continues after 4 p.m. The chance of precipitation is 100%. 

The chance of showers drops to 40% and thunderstorms are possible before 10 p.m. Saturday night’s weather is forecasted to reach a low of around 34 degrees, according to the NWS.  

The NWS issued a flood advisory, in effect from Saturday at 4:45 am. until 10 a.m. Sunday. A flood watch was also issued, in effect until 6 p.m. on Saturday. 

Also on Friday afternoon, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department issued a Nixle warning of the flood watch issued for the SCV. The Nixle stated that if residents receive a CodeRED phone call, to listen carefully to the entire message and to not call 9-1-1 unless directed to do so or if need of immediate aid. The same goes for CodeRED text messages.  

The increase in the precipitation and the experience of unusual snow comes from a winter storm hitting California.  

“We have the storm that’s coming right out of British Columbia that’s just running down the California coastline,” Kristen Stewart, meteorologist at the NWS’s Oxnard Station, said earlier this week. “It’s going to pick up moisture on its way off the coast.”   

“A winter storm will continue to move through California today then into the Four Corners on Sunday bringing significant mountain snow, strong winds with blizzard conditions, lower elevation snow where snow is unusual, and well below normal temperatures,” read NWS’ website on Saturday. “Additional winter storms will cross the Pacific Northwest on Sunday and early next week, likely bringing additional rounds of heavy precipitation.” 

In addition, California Highway Patrol officers are asking drivers to slow down to prevent further traffic incidents amid a winter storm affecting Southern California, including the Santa Clarita Valley. 

“We have had a couple crashes, the rain and snow make it more challenging for the motoring public,” wrote CHP Officer Josh Greengard, spokesman for the CHP’s Newhall Office, in a statement to The Signal on Friday. “These crashes could have been avoided by slowing down.”    

According to Caltrans District 7 Twitter, the following highway closures are in place due to the hazardous weather conditions: 

  • Interstate 5 through the Tejon Pass from Parker Road to Grapevine Road is closed due to snow. 
  • State Route 14 from Sand Canyon Road to Avenue S is closed due to snow. 
  • State Route 138, both directions of Interstate 5 to 190th Street West in Northern Los Angeles County are closed. 
  • The southbound lane of Interstate 5 from Los Feliz to Glendale Boulevard is closed due to flooding. 
  • The northbound lane of Interstate 5 from Fletched Boulevard to Glendale Boulevard is closed due to flooding 
  • The northbound lane of Interstate 5 from Penrose Street to Sheldon Street/Laurel Canyon is closed due to flooding 
  • The southbound lane of Interstate 5 is closed from Osborne Street due to flooding  
  • State Route 2 (Angeles Crest Highway) in Angeles National Forest in both directions from 2.2 miles north of I-210 to Islip Saddle is closed due to snow and ice 
  • State Route 39 in Angeles National Forest in both directions from East Fork Road on the south end up to State Route 2 is closed 
  • State Route 138 in both directions from I-5 to 190th Street West is closed due to weather related conditions 

Caltrans announced on Saturday at 1:48 p.m. via their Twitter that State Route 14, in both directions between Palmdale and Santa Clarita, would reopen. 

“Please drive cautiously if you must travel, and pay attention for wet or icy patches,” read the tweet. “Slow down for maintenance and emergency crews.” 

“A high wind advisory is in effect from the JCT of I-5 in Los Angeles to the Los Angeles/Kern CO Line,” read the Caltrans Road Information website. Travel is not recommended for campers, trailers or permit loads.  

Caltrans has advised motorists to use alternative routes.  

The city of Santa Clarita announced on Friday at 9:58 a.m. via its Instagram page that Whitney Canyon and Towsley Canyon would be closed for the near future due to the weather conditions.  

Cross Street in Newhall experienced rapid flows of water, causing damage to the street and concrete.  

“Once the rain starts, we always get the river flowing,” said Julie Odell, a Cross Street resident. 

The city of Santa Clarita Public Works Department began extending its efforts to Cross Street on Saturday afternoon. 

“There is one home that has a small drop-off to exit the driveway onto dirt road,” said Carrie Lujan, communications manager for the city of Santa Clarita. “We will follow up on Monday and ensure the roads and driveways are clear of debris.” 

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