The Southland dried off Wednesday after a storm that dumped as much as 4 inches of rain in some areas and caused a mudslide in Burbank.
The rain had all but vanished by Tuesday evening, but mandatory evacuations were still in place for all of Country Club Drive, which was hit by an early morning mudslide that grabbed some cars and an RV out of driveways Tuesday and carried them downstream, smashing at least one, overturning another and engulfing others with mud.
Evacuation orders were also in effect for 23 homes between 8300 and 8800 La Tuna Canyon Road. Residents on La Tuna Canyon south of those homes were encouraged to voluntarily evacuate. An evacuation center was operating at the Sun Valley Recreation Center, 8133 Vineland Ave.
One of those vehicles carried off in the mudslide struck a three- quarter-inch natural gas line in the 1200 block of Country Club Drive. City officials said homes on the street had no gas, electricity or water service.
Burbank Fire Department Battalion Chief John Owings said the slide occurred around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday thanks to a loaded debris basin above Country Club Drive.
“There were many homes, about 40 to 45 homes, affected by it, a couple homes damaged,” Owings told KCAL9 “We performed two physical rescues at approximately 7 o’clock this morning.”
He said residents had sheltered in place, but the mandatory evacuation order was issued by mid-morning Tuesday due to the threat of additional slides.
“Any additional rain is going to push more mud down,” Owings said.
An evacuation center was established at McCambridge Recreation Center, 1515 Glenoaks Blvd.
After Tuesday’s downpours, Los Angeles County’s Upper Sunset Debris Basin above Burbank is full of mud, water and debris, officials said late Tuesday in a statement reported by the Los Angeles Daily News. But it’s functioning and not at risk of failing. The facility is in the La Tuna burn area, which was the site of intense rain Tuesday, prompting debris flows that had officials concerned.
County Public Works Director Mark Pestrella said all 172 of the county flood control system’s debris basins and 14 major dams weathered the first major storm of the season “without issue,” the Daily News reported.
Along the coast, a high surf advisory will be in force until 4 p.m. in Los Angeles County and 6 p.m. in Orange County as a result of a westerly swell.
“Large, powerful and dangerous waves with strong currents will create an increased risk of drowning. Sneaker waves can suddenly wash over previously dry beaches and jetties. There will also be a high risk of life- threatening rip currents,” creating a risk of drowning for swimmers and surfers, warned an NWS statement. “Swim near a lifeguard. If caught in a rip current, relax and float. Don’t swim against the current. If able, swim in a direction following the shoreline. If unable to escape, face the shore and call or wave for help.”
Off the coast, a small craft advisory warning the operators of small vessels of hazardous conditions, especially in the case of mariners with limited experience, will be in force Wednesday, expiring at 3 a.m. in some areas, and 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. in others.
At Los Angeles International Airport, flooding forced the closure of the customs area in Terminal 2 Tuesday. Arriving international passengers were bused to the Tom Bradley International Terminal for processing.
Mud slid down a hillside in the Sun Valley area and inundated part of La Tuna Canyon Road south of the Foothill (210) Freeway. A Los Angeles police patrol car wound up stuck in the muck, but no injuries were reported.
A big rig jack-knifed on the northbound Golden State (5) Freeway in the Los Feliz area around 3:50 a.m. Tuesday, leaving one man dead. The entire northbound freeway was closed for hours, further frustrating commuters already struggling with the soggy drive. Later in the morning, a big rig fell from an overpass onto the northbound 5 Freeway at the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway, causing another closure.
As of midday Tuesday, more than 4 inches of rain had fallen at Crystal Lake and more than 3 inches came down at Mount Baldy during the two-day storm, according to the National Weather Service. About 2 inches had fallen in Pasadena, and more than 1.5 inches in Burbank, Northridge, Getty Center, Bel Air and Agoura Hills.
The two-day storm came after a 10-month dry spell in the Southland following torrential rains in January and February of last year. In 2017, downtown Los Angeles experienced its driest March 1 through Dec. 31 since 1878, with only 0.69 of an inch of rainfall, according to the NWS.
The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority announced that winter shelters would stay open until 7 a.m. Wednesday because of the storm.
An offshore flow is forecast to return late Wednesday with warmer temperatures, dry air, low humidity and gusty winds through Sunday.
Saturday could bring sunny skies and highs above 80.
The NWS forecast a mix of partly cloudy and sunny skies in Los Angeles County Wednesday and highs of 55 degrees on Mount Wilson; 58 in Lancaster; 59 in Palmdale and Avalon; 64 in Saugus and San Gabriel; 65 in Burbank and at LAX; 66 in Downtown L.A., Long Beach and Pasadena; and 68 in Woodland Hills.
Partly cloudy skies were forecast in Orange County, along with highs of 61 in San Clemente; 62 in Newport Beach and Mission Viejo; 63 in Laguna Beach and Yorba Linda; 64 in Fullerton; and 65 in Irvine and Anaheim.
Temperatures will climb steeply Thursday — by up to 9 degrees in L.A. County and 10 degrees in Orange County — and begin reaching the high 70s and low 80s Saturday, slipping somewhat Tuesday.
—City News Service
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