Story updated 4:52 p.m., Dec. 2, 2014.
The Southland received a steady dose of rain Tuesday, but despite slick roads and some minor flooding, the area managed so far to avoid any major mudslides or debris flows that had officials and residents on high alert in recent burn areas.
But with rain still falling after sunset and some flash flood watches remaining in effect, residents were still being advised to be prepared to evacuate their homes.
“It’s safer to be away from your home than at your home,” Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab said. “It’s not this steady rain that we are worried about, it’s that high volume of rain in a short amount of time, those so called microbursts.”
Glendora officials said they responded to about 16 minor mud flows from the Colby Fire burn area over the course of the day, but none threatened any property. Residents living north of Sierra Madre Avenue between the western city limit and the eastern boundary of properties on the west side of the Little Dalton Wash have been under a voluntary evacuation order since this morning, but most have opted to stay put.
By about 4 p.m., the burn area received just more than an inch of rain, and debris basins were doing their jobs, with about 70 percent of capacity still available by late afternoon, city officials said.
In case the situation worsens, an evacuation center was set up at the Crowther Teen & Family Center, 241 W. Dawson Ave. The Inland Valley Humane Society is available at the center to offer assistance with pets. Horses can be taken to the Pomona Fairplex, 1101 W. McKinley Ave.
Glendora officials said this morning that roughly 18,000 sandbags had been distributed to residents in the past 48 hours, and more are available. Glendora Mountain Road was closed, and city officials said the route will remain blocked until further notice.
In Pacific Palisades, some power lines fell across Pacific Coast Highway, forcing the closure of the highly traveled roadway. Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews were working to repair the lines, but there was no immediate estimate on when the road would open.
A flash flood watch went into effect at 8 a.m. over a wide area that included beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, the Hollywood Hills, L.A County Mountains, Santa Catalina Island, and the San Fernando, Santa Clarita, San Gabriel and Antelope valleys, as well as areas in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
By 3 p.m., the watch was canceled by the National Weather Service except mountain areas and the San Gabriel Valley, where it will remain in force until late tonight.
The rain, along with gusty winds, was the result of a Pacific storm system. Forecasters said the storm had the capacity to dump about a half-inch of rain per hour, possibly lasting for hours, “which could produce dangerous flash flooding, with damaging mud and debris flows,” according to the National Weather Service.
“While all recent burn areas will be threatened, areas especially at risk include the Springs, Colby, Powerhouse and Williams burn areas.”
A wind advisory will be in effect in the San Gabriel mountains in Los Angeles and Ventura counties until 3 a.m. Wednesday. Southeast-to-south winds of 25 to 35 mph with 50-mph gusts are expected in the mountains, mainly above 5,000 feet, according to the NWS.
The wind could prove to be a problem for motorists on Interstate 5 in the area of The Grapevine, and on Angeles Crest Highway, especially for the drivers of high-profile vehicles and vehicles towing trailers, according to an NWS statement.
Showers are expected to continue tonight and into Wednesday, according to the NWS. The area is expected to slowly dry out as the week wears on.
In the fire-scarred areas of Silverado Canyon in Orange County, residents were also preparing for possible mud flows. Emergency officials imposed voluntary evacuations, but like Glendora, most residents opted to stay in their homes.
Residents in the 40 to 50 homes from 30311 Silverado Canyon Road to the end of the canyon were advised even before the rain began to be prepared to evacuate.
Many cities were 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 offered residents sandbags at the Public Works Field Services Yard at 124 S. Lake St.
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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