Though over an inch-and-a-half of rain was recorded at Santa Monica Airport on Tuesday, Dec. 14, the city rode out the storm without any serious incidents reported.
One non-injury traffic collision took place on Tuesday morning, according to Santa Monica Police Department Public Information Officer Rudy Flores. Flores wrote in an email that he was “happy to report nothing out of the ordinary” took place due to the rainstorm.
Up the coast in Malibu, the National Weather Service (NWS) reported 10-foot breakers at Zuma Beach. Nearly 3,000 customers in Malibu and Topanga were without power in the late morning hours and dozens of vehicles were damaged by debris on the roadway on Malibu Canyon Road. In Orange County, drivers had to be rescued from their vehicles due to mudslides and traffic was jammed on the I-5 over the Grapevine due to snow. But calm reigned in Santa Monica despite 12 hours of near constant rainfall.
The NWS reported the heaviest local rain occurred in the morning from 8-8:15 a.m., when the airport weather gauge recorded 0.3 inches of rain. In the hour from 8 to 9 a.m., nearly 0.6 inches of precipitation was recorded there.
Rain began just before midnight on Tuesday morning, tapering off to a light drizzle by 11 a.m. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, 1.56 inches had fallen, according to NWS records.
Southern California Edison reported two small-scale power outages in Santa Monica on Tuesday that in total affected an estimated 22 customers. The larger of the outages was quickly resolved, but two customers remained without power throughout the day.
The Santa Monica Beach Pico-Kenter storm drain was moving rapidly beginning early Tuesday, carrying with it debris and bacterial contamination. The storm drain and other runoff into the ocean mean surfers and swimmers are cautioned to avoid entering the water for at least 72 hours after rain subsides.
The LA County Department of Public Health issued an Ocean Water Quality Rain Advisory for all Los Angeles County beaches, advising beachgoers to avoid the water through at least 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 17.
“Bacteria levels can increase significantly during and after rainstorms, as contaminants within the runoff enters the ocean. Bacteria levels may remain elevated up to 3 days depending upon the intensity of the rain and the volume of runoff. Elevated bacteria levels in ocean water may cause illness, especially in children and the elderly,” the advisory stated, adding that bacteria levels are especially high “near flowing storm drains, creeks and rivers.”