(breitbart) – Los Angeles residents received an emergency alert on their mobile phones Tuesday afternoon urging them to stay home — with just four hours to go before polls close.
The alert was issued at around 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, with polls in L.A. County due to close at 8:00 p.m. It advised residents not to “attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order.”
Rain has fallen in the area for two days, and is expected to continue into the early hours of Wednesday.
Some areas experienced heavy rain, flash flooding, strong gusts of wind, and power outages. The National Weather Service had issued an areal flood advisory in the Santa Monica area, ending at 5:15 p.m. There were also several periods of intermittent sunshine, including rainbows (photo above taken at 3:17 p.m.).
Though Los Angeles was not the only part of the state to experience severe weather warnings, skeptics wondered whether there might be a link between an alert telling people to stay home due to a “dangerous and life-threatening” situation, and the election.
Los Angeles is facing several closely-contested races for local office, including the race for mayor, which is neck-and-neck between Democratic Party favorite Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) and insurgent billionaire outsider Rick Caruso (D), a former Republican. Though most voters in California cast ballots by mail, conservative voters are thought to prefer voting on Election Day. Voters had to brave the elements at times to make it to polling places.
Update: The National Weather Service’s Los Angeles branch tweeted a clarification: