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Storm brings more than 3 inches of rain to LA, Downtown record shattered

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The storm triggered mudslides and flash floods warnings in Malibu

Mud and debris fill the outfall on Thursday where Trancas Creek flows into the Pacific Ocean in an area burned by the Woolsey fire in Malibu.
AP

A cold rain storm that pummeled Los Angeles this week dumped more than 3 inches of rain on some parts of LA and shattered a record in Downtown Los Angeles.

On Thursday, 1.9 inches fell in DTLA, beating a 21-year-old record of 1.01 inches, according to the National Weather Service. That record was set in 1997, when the strongest El Niño in decades ripped through the area, says Weather Service meteorologist Eric Boldt. The two-day total for Downtown was 2.11 inches—close to the neighborhood’s average rainfall for the entire month of December, 2.33 inches.

An impressive amount of rain fell elsewhere across the region on Wednesday and Thursday, with the Weather Service recording 3.1 inches in Woodland Hills in the two-day span. Agoura Hills saw 3.6 inches of rain, and Pasadena received 3.9 inches.

The rain totals are not entirely surprising given the intensity of the rain. The Weather Service, which recorded rainfall rates of up to a half an inch per hour, had measured more than 2 inches of rain in Agoura by 1 a.m. Thursday.

The cold storm dusted the Grapevine with snow, trapped cars in water and debris, and triggered mudslides and flash floods warnings in Malibu and surrounding areas scarred by the Woolsey Fire.

Some of the heaviest rainfall hit the Santa Monica Mountains, which were ravaged by the Woolsey Fire, according to Boldt.

Flooding is more likely after fires, when burnt debris collects on hillsides and prevents the soil from absorbing the rainfall, and early Thursday morning, downpours sent a deluge of mud onto Pacific Coast Highway, which was closed in both directions from Trancas Canyon Road to the Las Posas. Encinal Canyon and Decker Canyon roads were also fully also closed in both directions.

At Burbank Airport, a plane skid off the runway, prompting the airlines to cancel and delay flights. I-5 was closed through the Grapevine as snow blanketed the pass.

The storm made a significant impact in a short time. Here are some photos of the damage: