Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

With flooding and lightning possible from the storm expected to hit the Southland, Los Angeles County emergency-management officials urged residents Thursday to prepare for the deluge and offered tips for people to stay safe.

A flash flood watch will be in effect in mountain and burn areas from tonight through Friday night. Residents who live near the scenes of the recent Colby and Powerhouse fires could be particularly endangered by mudslides, debris flows and flooding.

The county Office of Emergency Management issued a series of safety tips during flooding:

— If a flash flood occurs, move immediately to higher ground.

— Be aware of streams, drainage channels, canyons and other areas known for sudden flooding, since floods can occur in such areas without warnings such as clouds or heavy rain.

— If a landslide or debris flow occurs, move away from the path of the slide, run to a safe area and take cover, preferably on higher ground.

— Be aware of sudden increases or decreases in water levels in streams or creeks that might indicate debris or mud flows upstream. A small trickle of flowing mud can often be a sign of a larger slide to come. Tilted trees, telephone poles or fences can also present dangers. Residents should also listen for rumbling sounds that could indicate an approaching landslide.

County officials also noted that thunderstorms and lightning are possible through Friday night. The county OEM warned that no place is safe outdoors during a thunderstorm, and residents should get inside when they hear thunder or see lightning.

During such a storm, people should go inside a “substantial” building and stay away from doors, windows and anything that conducts electricity such as corded telephones, computers and other equipment.

People who are stuck outside without any access to shelter were advised to stay away from elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks; and never lie flat on the ground or under an isolated tree. People should also get out of any bodies of water.

Emergency preparedness information is also available through the county’s 24-hour, toll-free 2-1-1 hotline. People with disabilities or who have other special needs can call the line to receive referrals to specific services they might need stemming from the storm.

City News Service

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