Southland residents are bracing for a storm that is expected to dump several inches of rain on the area Tuesday, raising fears of mudslides in recent burn areas.
A roughly six-mile stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County near the Los Angeles County line was closed Sunday when showers send rocks and mud cascading onto the roadway. Caltrans officials said the stretch of road from Las Posas Road to Yerba Buena — a key route for people heading in or out of Malibu — could remain closed for several more days.
Meanwhile, city officials in Glendora have been warning residents near the Colby Fire burn area to prepare for possible mudslides and debris flows on Tuesday, when heavier rain is expected.
City officials raised the alert status to “yellow” for residents near the burn area. The alert imposes restrictions requiring residents to remove vehicles, trash bins and other obstructions from the street to ensure emergency crews can access the area — and to prevent any damage from mudflows.
The Glendora alert level will be raised to “orange” at 6 a.m., urging residents to voluntarily evacuate areas endangered by flooding and debris. An evacuation center will be set up at the Crowther Teen & Family Center, 241 W. Dawson Ave. The Inland Valley Humane Society will be available at the center to offer assistance with pets. Horses can be taken to the Pomona Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave.
The impacted burn area is generally described as the area north of Sierra Madre Avenue between the western city limits to the eastern boundary of properties on the west side of the Little Dalton Wash.
National Weather Service forecasters issued a flash flood watch for Tuesday for recent burn areas in Los Angeles and Orange counties, noting that rainfall rates of 1/2 inch per hour are expected, possibly lasting for several hours.
“Rainfall of this intensity and duration has the potential to bring dangerous flash flooding with damaging mud and debris flows to the recent burn areas,” according to the NWS.
Forecasters said the storm should drop about 1 to 2 inches of rain along the coast and in valley areas, and 2 to 5 inches in the mountains and foothills.
In the fire-scarred areas of Silverado Canyon in Orange County, residents were also preparing for possible mud flows. Emergency officials issued a warning to residents and even suggested voluntary evacuations beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday. They said Silverado Canyon Road could potentially be closed.
Residents in the 40 to 50 homes from 30311 Silverado Canyon Road to the end of the canyon were advised to evacuate the area, Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock said.
Some cities, including Fullerton, Mission Viejo and Costa Mesa, are providing residents with free sandbags to help them protect their properties. Sand and sandbags were also made available at Los Angeles Fire Department stations. Burbank officials are offering residents sandbags at the Public Works Field Services Yard at 124 S. Lake St.
In Long Beach, city crews were working to clear catch-basins, test pump stations and fortify sand berms on beaches. The city also installed booms to prevent debris from flowing into marina areas, and deployed additional staff such as swift-water rescue teams to quickly respond to emergency situations.
Showers are expected to continue into Tuesday night, and possibly into Wednesday, according to the NWS. The area is expected to slowly dry out as the week wears on.
Sunday’s rain caused some flooding and a street closure in Montebello. Greenwood Avenue was closed in both directions between Sycamore Avenue and Union Street because of “major flooding” under the railroad overpass, according to the Montebello Police Department.
The California Highway Patrol reported about 83 crashes between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday on freeways and roads it patrols in Los Angeles County. That compares to about 48 crashes during the same hours last Sunday, said CHP Officer Patrick Kimball.
More than a half-inch of rain fell in West Los Angeles between 3:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. Sunday and heavy showers extended from Lakewood to the San Gabriel Valley, according to the NWS.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health warned beach goers to avoid storm discharge areas due to debris and bacteria.
— City News Service
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