Winter storm rain, snow shuts down portion of I-5 in SoCal

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Officials announced the closure of the 5 Freeway through the Grapevine area due to dangerous snow and ice conditions Thursday morning.

The shutdown comes amid a powerful winter storm that is dropping several feet of snow at higher elevations.

Forecasters are calling for anywhere from 6 inches to 3 feet of snow above the 5,000-foot mark.

Enough snow and ice finally built up through the Grapevine area early Thursday morning to bring traffic to a stop.

The northbound 5 Freeway is closed at Parker Road in Castaic, according to a tweet from Caltrans. The southbound side of the freeway is closed at Grapevine road.

An alternate route through Tehachapi on State Route 58 is still open and available to drivers, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Images shared with KTLA by Rangel Martinez showed traffic at a standstill on the 5 Freeway.

“Snow is still coming down pretty hard … I don’t know if they’re going to open it anytime soon,” Martinez said about an hour into the delay.

The storm is expected to continue to bring heavy rain and snow to the region through noon Thursday.

Isolated light showers are likely to continue into Friday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Coastal and valley locations are expecting 2 to 4 inches of rain by the time the storm moves through. Mountain and foothill areas that don’t get snow should see between 3 to 7 inches of rain, according to forecasters.

Drivers are urged to take the following precautions before getting on the road:

  • Allow extra time for travel
  • Have a winter weather kit in your car
  • Check road conditions
  • Bring chains if traveling in the mountains

Clear skies and dry conditions are expected to arrive over the weekend.

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