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Powerful storm pounds Southern California with rain, snow

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Posted at 7:42 AM, Dec 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-26 10:43:25-05

A powerful winter storm brought a deluge of rain and snow to Southern California, triggering tornado warnings and bringing post-Christmas travel to a halt on major routes early Thursday.

Snow shut down vital Interstate 5 in Tejon Pass through the mountains north of Los Angeles and stopped traffic on Interstate 15 over Cajon Pass in the inland region to the east.

Snow also stopped or slowed traffic on other routes, and numerous trees were toppled.

The storm began unleashing waves of pounding rain in the region on Christmas Day and continued into Thursday morning.

The tempest triggered tornado warnings overnight in Santa Barbara and Orange counties when radar indicated rotation in severe thunderstorms.

The warnings were later canceled.

The National Weather Service said the heaviest rain moved east of Los Angeles County before dawn but showers were expected to continue through the day.