There are places on this Earth where a little weather 'round the holidays is considered a comfort. Where good citizens of the roadway maneuver their vehicles up snowy switchbacks while whistling a jolly tune, waving g'day to their fellow motorists and texting in-laws with whatever frostbitten appendage is free. Nothin' to it, Turkey! Buildin' character with ease.
Not in Los Angeles. We might be warriors of the 18-legged freeway beast while the sun is shining and the air is mild, but -- as evidenced by a dramatic piece in the Los Angeles Times Sunday edition -- we are powerless in the face of weather.
Chaos ensued yesterday morning:
"Rain-slicked roads snarled traffic throughout Los Angeles County on Sunday, and the California Highway Patrol recorded 275 accidents from 5 to 9 a.m., compared with 27 accidents during the same period last Sunday. Most of the incidents were roll-overs or spinouts that resulted in several injuries but no fatalities.
'Most were single-car accidents with people hitting water puddles and then hitting a wall,' California Highway Patrol Officer Ed Jacobs said."
In case you didn't catch that, a couple hundred L.A. drivers hit a mud puddle followed by a wall yesterday. And that was just before 9 a.m.
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It was an especially horrific scene over on the Grapevine, where, apparently, there was a "dusting of powder" at a little over 4,500 feet. Meanwhile, to the west, the fearless surfers of Venice Beach encountered a whole new kind of "chill," forced to battle damn near un-fun conditions in the water:
Overnight winds gusted to 50 mph in mountain regions, and a stiff early morning breeze produced whitecaps and swells off Venice.
The conditions gave pause to surfers Chris Kelly and Ricky Otterstrom, who sat on the sand waiting to see if the wind would subside.
Otterstrom, 25, of Marina del Rey said the roiling water made it hard to get on top of a wave without being tossed off.
'It's definitely not ideal conditions,' said Kelly, 20, of Redondo Beach. 'You could surf those waves, but it poses some danger because of the choppy water.'"
Angelenos will be glad to know that the worst is over, and they can go back to dry-honking in symphonic gridlock this Thanksgiving weekend. Rough temps are as follows: