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Forget The Song - It Does Rain in Southern California With PM-Storms Rdp

January 11, 1993

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Forget about that sappy song from the ’70s. It does rain in Southern California. And when it really comes down, strange things happen.

For instance: the refusal of motorists to use the simplest of safe driving maneuvers - slowing down.

″This is a very fast-paced city,″ said California Highway Patrol officer Glen Dominguez. ″People need to get places in a hurry.″

Which explains, presumably, why California traffic accidents increase sharply during rainstorms.

″When it rains in Los Angeles,″ Dominguez said, ″people aren’t used to it.″

Southern California, accustomed to extreme sunshine, was flooded by heavy storms last week. More rain is forecast this week.

At Gladstone’s, a popular seaside restaurant just south of Malibu, business has dropped by two-thirds.

″It’s terrible,″ said manager Steve Herbert. ″This is the worst rain I’ve seen in six years. It’s the worst impact the rain has had on our business.″

It’s the Malibu area where mudslides, rock slides, brush fires and seemingly every calamity save pestilence occurs with biblical frequency. But Herbert didn’t think that should deter customers.

″The rocks were coming down, but you could still drive over them,″ he offered.

Even local ski resorts didn’t immediately benefit from what is usually a mixed blessing. Rain means snow in the mountain areas. This time, however, rain meant road closures.

At the San Bernardino mountain resort of Snow Summit, white stuff abounded, but not so skiers. The two main highway routes were closed Friday because of mudslides.

″I’m sure it’s had a dramatic effect,″ said resort spokeswoman Carrie Shirreffs. ″If I were down the hill and the only way up was the back road, I’d think twice.″

Instances of purse snatchings, carjackings, burglaries and drive-by shootings decrease in severe rainstorms, though Los Angeles Police Department officials do not keep specific rain vs. sun statistics.

″There’s no way of proving it,″ said Officer Bill Frio, ″but I can just about guarantee you that there aren’t any drive-by shootings because who’s going to be standing out on the street corner in the pouring rain?″

On the other hand, Frio added, reports involving domestic fights and business disputes increase during inclement weather.

″People are inside, getting on each other’s nerves,″ Frio said.

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