This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration
Mudslides stranded hundreds of motorists on southern California’s main north-south highway Thursday evening after severe thunderstorms rocked the area. Cleanup crews worked through the night to plow and scoop up the mud, but meteorologists say that thanks to California’s historic drought, widespread wildfires, and a potentially historic El Niño, this disaster could be just a taste of what’s to come this winter.
The rain was part of a slow-moving storm system that passed through the Los Angeles area Thursday afternoon and battered the mountains to the north of the city in Kern County. The result: flash floods that sent mud and debris flowing down hillsides and onto Interstate 5, as well as onto a smaller state highway. I-5 has been cleared and is waiting final inspection to reopen, but hundreds of cars are still stuck on the state highway.
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