LOS ANGELES -- Southern Californians, staggering under a barrage of snow, sleet, rain, lightning, thunder, cold and, jokes about Florida, looked forward today to relief over the week end.
After three days of the worst snowfall in the sunny southland's history, the U.S. weather bureau came through with a note of cheer.
"Generally clear weather is indicated after Thursday with temperatures rising to near normal over the weekend," the forecast said.
Palm Trees Droop
Los Angeles' famed palm tree drooped under a burden of white as intermittent rain and snow continued through last night. Some 10 inches of snow lay on some hilly sections of the city, with up to 30 inches in nearby mountains and more falling hourly.
Metropolitan Los Angeles' gas consumption Monday was 936,000,000 cubic feet, 25 per cent above the previous all-time high on Tuesday of last week. Yesterday's was almost as high.
The gas shortage was so severe in San Diego that Rohr Aircraft company, employing 3,639 people, shut down today. The gas company is still asking that none of the fuel be used for heating.
Snow on Catalina
Snow fell on Catalina island for the first time in the memory of residents, with a fall of nearly eight inches on the island's two peaks. Rare tropical birds at the island bird farm were so bewildered they were flying upside down and doing barrel rolls. Attendants said their condition was serious.
Stores reported a rush for long underwear and tire chains. One Alhambra shopkeeper hung out a sign reading "Snow Plows for Rent -- Hurry!"
Hundreds of minor accidents and a few serious ones were reported on snow blocked mountain highways and many hilly streets in Los Angeles.