Heavy rain, thunderstorms to pound Southland on Saturday

The Sun

LOS ANGELES — Intermittent heavy rain and possible thunderstorms were expected today, causing power outages, dangerous mudslides, localized flooding, high surf and evacuations as the strongest storm in three years continued to pound the Southland.

The saturating rain from this series of storms and wet roads may have been contributing factors in a number of serious accidents overnight, one of them fatal.  

A woman in her 30s was killed in a multi-car crash on the Arroyo (110) Parkway shortly after 2 a.m. The collision involved two vehicles and a truck, just south of the Golden State (5) Freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol. The crash temporarily closed the Nos. 2 and 3 lanes of the freeway. Meanwhile, two people were hospitalized with major injuries after a head-on collision on West Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills. The crash on the 9800 block of West Sunset occurred at 2:30 a.m., according to Beverly Hills police Sgt. David Armour.

The accident shut down both east and westbound lanes of Sunset, which weren’t expected to reopen until 8 a.m. The California Highway Patrol declared a SigAlert shortly after the crash.

The storm, whose first wave came ashore Thursday night, dropped more than three inches of rain in the San Fernando Valley, more than two inches in downtown Los Angeles, and 2 to 7 inches in mountain areas, according to the National Weather Service.

Flash flood advisories for the Madre, Colby, Madison and Williams burn areas above Glendora, Azusa and Monrovia were expected to last until at least 8 a.m. and a flash flood watch for most of the Southland was in effect until 9 p.m. tonight. Forecasters also extended a winter storm warning until 3 a.m. Sunday, according to the NWS. Forecasters also said that coastal flooding and high, dangerous surf remained on the menu for today.

Rain — heavy at times — was expected to continue intermittently through Sunday afternoon, and threatened to put a damper on the red carpet arrivals for Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood.

As of late Friday, rain had soaked much of the area, sending waves of mud and debris cascading down recently burned mountainsides, forcing evacuations, toppling trees and causing havoc on roadways.

The wettest place turned out to be Opids Camp, a school camp 3,600 feet above Pasadena where 7.88 inches fell, followed by La Canada Flintridge, where 7.72 inches fell. There was 7.68 inches of precipitation at both Camp Hi Hill, near Mount Wilson in the Angeles National Forest, Cogswell Dam, also in the Angeles National Forest.

A daily rainfall record was set in Lancaster, where 1.67 inches fell at Fox Field, breaking the old record of 1.4 inches set on this date in 1978, according to the NWS.

More than 12,700 customers with Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in Los Angeles County were still reportedly without power Saturday morning, officials said, adding that repair crews were working to restore all power.

In the city of Los Angeles, 1,586 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers were still with power as of 7 a.m., according to LADWP spokeswoman Gail Harris, who added that most of those customers were in the West Los Angeles, Bel Air and Brentwood areas.

In neighboring Palmdale, an 18-year-old man was killed in a single- vehicle crash on a rain-slick road, according to the California Highway Patrol, which logged scores of storm-related crashes throughout the Southland.

In Burbank, a woman in her late 80s escaped injury when a 50-foot tree toppled, sending a limb through her roof and into her living room. In another portion of Burbank, a roof collapsed at one end of a commercial building, but no one was injured, Burbank fire officials said.

Los Angeles firefighters, plucked two people and two dogs from an island of shrubbery in the middle of the rain-swollen Los Angeles River near Cypress Park, and later rescued a man who became stranded on the steep riverbank a few miles south of there.

Two people suffered minor shock injuries when a power line fell on their car in Rosemead, a sheriff’s lieutenant said.

Conversely, there was also potential good news for local ski areas suffering through another dry winter.

Snow levels in the local mountains were expected to drop to the 5,500- foot level overnight, National Weather Service weather specialist Bonnie Bartling said. And between 6 and 18 inches of snow were expected up to 8,000 feet with accumulations of 1 to 4 feet possible above that level, forecasters said.

Heavy showers and thunderstorms were possible throughout Los Angeles County and waterspouts were possible across coastal waters through tonight, according to the Weather Service.

The NWS also issued a high surf advisory for the Los Angeles County coast until 5 p.m. Sunday and for the Orange County coast until 4 a.m. Monday. Surf was expected to range between 4 and 7 feet building to 8 to 12 feet later today. Warnings of coastal flooding also were issued in both counties, as were wind advisories and wind warnings.

Wind gusts in local mountains, including both the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountains, were expected to reach 60 and 70 miles per hour, according to NWS forecasters, and the NWS warned motorists to guard against broken tree limbs and other debris.

Mandatory evacuation orders issued Thursday and expanded for residents near burn areas in Glendora and Azusa remained in effect. Monrovia has also issued evacuation orders for residents below the Madison Fire burn area.

In Glendora, the order affected residents in an area north of Sierra Madre Avenue. In Azusa, the orders affected all residents on Ridge View Drive. Residents of both cities were advised that they could use a newly establish evacuation center at the Crowther Teen & Family Center at 241 W. Dawson Ave. In all, more than 1,000 homes were subject to evacuation orders.

An evacuation center for Monrovia residents was set up at the Monrovia Community Center, 119 W. Palm Ave. Pets can be taken to Wonder Dog Ranch, 220 Taylor St.

Azusa police said that although no evacuations were ordered for the Mountain Cove community, residents were being urged to take precautionary measures, including voluntary evacuations. Many deaths occur during a landslide when people are asleep in their beds, according to Azusa police.

Inmates were used Thursday to fill sandbags at the Glendora City Yard on Loraine Avenue. The inmates, normally assigned to the Los Angeles County Jail Fire Camp Training Facility, are doing storm duty work as part of the Prisoner Assistance Community Enhancement Program, which uses non-violent offenders to assist in public service projects.

Mud began accumulating on some Glendora and Azusa streets as debris and water came pouring out of the Colby Fire burn area. Glendora city officials urged residents to heed the evacuation orders, although some residents insisted on remaining in their homes.

Thirteen homes were evacuated in the Lake Hughes area because of flooding and mudslides, according to the sheriff’s Palmdale Station.

A mudslide was reported on Lake Hughes Road, and road closures were in effect on Lake Elizabeth Road at Lake Hughes Road, Bouquet Canyon Road between Big Oaks Lodge and Vasquez Canyon Road, Munz Ranch Road at Elizabeth Lake Road and on Avenue T between Longview and 165th Street East in the Littlerock area;

There will still be a 30 to 40 percent chance of rain on Sunday, said NWS meteorologist Scott Sukup.

For people heading to the Academy Awards on Sunday, Sukup recommended, “Definitely bring an umbrella.”

Due to potential mud and debris flows, the Los Angeles County Public Works Department closed the following roads:

— Old San Gabriel Canyon Road from the Azusa city boundary to the Angeles National Forest;

— Glendora Mountain Road from Big Dalton Road to East Fork Road in the Angeles National Forest; and

— Glendora Ridge Road from Mount Baldy to Glendora Mountain Road, also in the Angeles National Forest.

Bouquet Canyon Road was closed in Agua Dulce from Big Oaks Lodge to two miles north of Vasquez Canyon Road.

The roads will remain closed until the storm system has passed and the roads have been inspected.

Public Works crews used heavy equipment to remove debris from streets in Glendora. The area is particularly vulnerable due to the 1,952-acre Colby Fire that scorched the hills above Glendora and Azusa in January.

Other areas at risk of flooding were the result of 250-acre Madre Fire in the Angeles National Forest, also in January; the 125-acre Madison Fire in the Monrovia area in April; the 22,242-acre Powerhouse Fire in the Angeles National Forest in June; and the 28,000-acre Springs Fire in Ventura County in May.


One thought on “Heavy rain, thunderstorms to pound Southland on Saturday

  1. It’s completely overcast, cold, and windy right now, but I only saw about 10 minutes of rain so far today, around 8 this morning.

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