Residents in parts of Southern California have been ordered to evacuate as the first of a parade of storm systems has started soaking areas scorched by last year’s Holy Fire.
Officials in Riverside County issued a “MUST GO” order effective 7 a.m. local time for neighborhoods in the burn areas of August’s Holy Fire, stating the risk of debris flows at a moment’s notice. A voluntary evacuation warning was issued for areas of Orange County in the burn area.
In Los Angeles and Ventura counties, officials warned residents in the burn area of November’s Woolsey Fire to be ready to evacuate in case the rain causes mudslides and debris flows, NBC 7 reported.
Interstate 5 at Grapevine was shut down in both directions as snowy conditions made for dangerous travel in the area Monday afternoon, the California Highway Patrol announced. About 4:30 p.m., the patrol started to let vehicles stuck on the northbound lanes of the interstate drive to an exit, but the freeway remained closed to other traffic.
State Road 33, a possible alternate to I-5, was closed between Wheeler Gorge Campground and Route 166 because of snow.
More than 10,500 customers had lost electricity as of 3 p.m., according to PowerOutage.us.
A mudslide closed closed all lanes of the Pacific Coast Highway from Trancas Canyon Road and Broad Beach Road in Malibu to Las Posas Road in Ventura County, Caltrans District 7 reported. The highway was closed until about 4:30 p.m. so the mudslide could be cleared.
Shortly before 5 p.m., Caltans said the right lane of the Pacific Coast Highway at Chautauqua Boulevard in Santa Monica was closed because of a mudflow.
“There is the potential of mudslides and debris flows at recent burn scars, particularly near the Holy Fire burn scar,” the National Weather Service wrote in its warning. “Debris flows can happen suddenly with little time to act. Heed the advice of local officials.”
You can find a map of the mandatory evacuations here.
The second, fast-moving storm in the series to hit California is expected to move into the area Tuesday into early Wednesday with a potential for rain and snow in the higher elevations.
The third system, expected to be the strongest and wettest of the three, will hit the area Wednesday and Thursday.
Debris flows and mudslides are likely in areas where heavy rain hits, considerably burn areas.