Very strong winds in Bakersfield, 'catastrophic' mountain and SoCal rainfall

NOTE: This story was last updated at 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17.


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) -- Eyewitness News Chief Meteorologist Miles Muzio says Kern County's mountains and areas south of Kern County are getting "catastrophic rainfall" Friday.

The storm system blew in from the southwest late Thursday, and very strong winds have been the biggest problem in Bakersfield.

Trees and fences have been toppled all over the city, and dozens of power outages were reported earlier in the day.

Wind gusts reached 55 mph in Bakersfield, which didn't get nearly the amount of rain as surrounding areas.

Travel over the Grapevine portion of Interstate 5 has been dangerous, with rain and hurricane-force winds. Muzio says the highest gust, at Grapevine Peak, was recorded at 108 mph.

A rock slide snarled southbound traffic for a while on the Grapevine, but that's since been cleared, Caltrans says.

Earlier a mudslide shut down the northbound side of the I-5 just north of Lebec.

The roadway was reopened a short time later.

RELATED STORY | Powerful storm pelts California and brings risk of flooding

"Friday's storm will be the biggest system to strike Kern County this winter," Muzio said.

The California Highway Patrol closed both Highways 41 and 46 at Highway 33 because of winds so strong that they knocked over big rigs.

The National Weather Service issued a slew of wind and flood advisories for Friday. The south valley is expected to only get around half of an inch of additional rain, but the areas of Pine Mountain Club and Frazier Park could tally as much as 4 inches of rain by early Saturday.

MORE | Full Kern County forecast

Chief Meteorologist Miles Muzio talked about the impact the storm had in areas throughout Southern California.

Flash flood warnings will also be in effect for a few areas for the next few hours.

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Some homes in Lake of the woods had precautionary evacuations placed on them because of concerns of potential flooding.

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