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Western storm is bringing conditions the area hasn't seen in years

Los Angeles County has its first blizzard warning since 1989, and Portland is experiencing its second snowiest day in history.
Posted at 8:42 PM, Feb 23, 2023

Portland is buried in snow, there's hail driving downward in Los Angeles, and wind is downing power lines in Phoenix.

It's all part of an intense line of winter storms snarling travel and shutting down cities across the country, as another weather system prepares to sweep the country this weekend.

"As we were having dinner the roads just got worse and worse and worse, and we said, 'You know what? It's not worth it,'" said Ben Skogquist, a trucker.

Portland's 11 inches of snow marked the city's second snowiest day in history. It trapped cars on freeways and sent hundreds of thousands of homes into the dark.

In San Diego, a huge tree rooted in soil saturated by recent rains fell into an apartment building thanks to winds. The same happened in Arizona.

A sign that reads

Airline offers travel waivers as massive winter storm sweeps US

The National Weather Service said Minneapolis could get up to 15 inches of snow through Thursday, and Detroit could have freezing rain and sleet.

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"We have no water right now; we probably won't until tomorrow," one Arizona resident said. "One of the trees came down, tore up the plumbing. They're working on it now, but they can't take the tree out until the wind dies down because they have to use a crane."

For the first time in more than 30 years, Los Angeles County issued a blizzard warning. Forecasters are watching for several inches of snow in the mountains near LA. The same dangerous conditions are expected in Flagstaff, Arizona.

The rain, hail and snow are scuttling air travel across the country. FlightAware has reported at least 2,700 cancellations in the U.S. since Tuesday, and more are likely to come.

"I could be doing a lot of other things," said Tom Radde, a traveler. "And I don't have to do things, but I could be. And so it's another day out of my life."

The National Weather Service says rain near LA could fall at nearly an inch per hour and could prompt flooding on major roads. It's leaving residents to brace for more in a year that that has already brought floodsmudslides and intense rain.