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Devastating Southland storm triggers mud flows & evacuations

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Photo: Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times — a runaway mud flow sweeps away trees and rocks and races down a street in La Cañada Flintridge today. Check out the L.A. Times storm photo gallery here.

A vicious storm sucker punched the Southland early this morning, unleashing landslides, swift mud flows, causing power outages, damaging around 43 homes, and forcing evacuations. Some areas got as much as four inches of rain from this latest series of stormy weather.

Here in Burbank, I was awakened by loud, rumbling thunder followed by some intense pounding rain on the roof before dawn. By this morning’s light, the devastation was shockingly clear in the nearby fire scorched hills. At a news conference this afternoon, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich described a hard hit La Cañada Flintridge neighborhood as looking like a  “… war zone area…” 

In La Cañada Flintridge 24 properties were damaged, including a dozen homes which were heavily damaged or destroyed. As mud flows careened down streets, as many as 25 vehicles were swept away along with trees, boulders, and debris. 540 homes in La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, and Acton have been evacuated; details on that on this Los Angeles County Public Works website.

Also, 300 more evacuations ordered in neighborhoods burned by fires two years ago in nearby Sierra Madre.

Throughout Los Angeles and Orange County, flooding, mudslides, weather-related accidents on streets and roads. Also, repair crews worked all day to restore power to more than 20 thousand users; some still in the dark this evening.    

  

Tonight, the forecast is for scattered showers and cloudy skies. Sunshine is on tap for Sunday, but by Tuesday and Wednesday, another storm is due to arrive and it could be just as much of a terror as the Saturday morning deluge.

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2 Responses to Devastating Southland storm triggers mud flows & evacuations

  1. DixieFlyer Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 6:31 am #

    Silver Lining–Good News

    These storms also dumped on Northern California,and….
    the same Federal Judge who ordered the pumps shut down has issued a 14 day Restraining Order lifting pumping curbs in the Delta.

    Our folks have done a measurable, demonstrable good job of conserving water in these parts and deserve some of that heavy flow water going out to the Pacific Ocean!!

  2. Fronnie Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Dixie,

    I agree with you. I think our folks have done a very good job of conserving. What is really needed is for local, state, and federal officials to come up with realistic methods and plans for catching and storing water during the wet seasons for use during the dry seasons.

    It’s a real shame that when the heavens open up and all that precious rain falls, most of it ends up in storm drains and the ocean. Meanwhile, city officials continue to jack up our water rates because of a “water shortage.”

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