Long Beach sees record-breaking rainfall on Thanksgiving Day

It was a wet holiday across the Southland on Thursday with many cities seeing record-breaking rainfall.

As of 4 p.m. on Thursday, Long Beach had received 2.17 inches of rain, breaking the previous record of 1.93 inches set in 1970, according to the National Weather Service.

The Thanksgiving storm out of the Gulf of Alaska unleashed rain, snow and cold winds in the region, threatening floods  and temporarily shutting down a major freeway on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

Thick, wind-driven snow flurries fell in the mountains and the Antelope Valley, where the National Weather Service predicted 4 to 8 inches of snow Thursday. Interstate 5 was closed in both directions at the Grapevine, with northbound drivers being turned around just after the Lake Hughes Road exit in Castaic. The freeway later reopened to both sides.

In total, the greater Los Angeles area was expected to get between 1.5 and 2 inches of rain on Thanksgiving. A flood warning was in effect until 10 p.m. in Orange County for Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and San Clemente.

Meanwhile, in Long Beach, the weather didn’t discourage the many participants in the 17th annual Turkey Trot, where more than 1,500 people braved the rain and cold winds for 5k and 10k races for charity.

Despite the record-breaking rainfall, the Long Beach Fire Department reported no major incidents as of 5 p.m.

The sun had peaked through clouds by late afternoon on Thursday, but more rain was expected in the evening with possibly a thunder storm.

The storm was expected to begin moving out of the region on Friday, with a 40% chance of rain expected in the morning and partly could skies in the evening.

The National Weather Service predicts a 30% percent chance of rain in Long Beach on Saturday afternoon.

– City News Service contributed to this report.

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Kelly Puente is a general assignment and special projects reporter at the Long Beach Post. Her prolific reporting has taken her all over Southern California—even to the small Catalina Island town of Two Harbors. She is a Tiki mug collector and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public policy and administration at Cal State Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected].