LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Intermittent rain and possible thunderstorms were expected to continue through this evening, causing power outages, dangerous mudslides, localized flooding, high surf, snow, gusty winds and evacuations as the strongest storm in three years continued to pound the Southland.
In response to the ongoing weather crisis the Los Angeles County Operational Area Emergency Operations Center was activated Saturday at 6 a.m., according to the sheriff's department.
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 Seco (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 were reopened shortly after 6 a.m., according to the CHP.
The storm has so far 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 cancelled at 8 a.m. but a flash flood watch for most of the Southland remains 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.
Glendora Police Chief Timothy Staat announced that mail delivery in the areas of Glendora affected by mudslides had been cancelled for Saturday. And in Azusa at least one home on Ridge View Avenue was damaged by the rain and mud flows submerging its backyard in at least a foot of mud, according to KCAL9.
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.
As of 9 a.m. more than 2,400 customers with Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in Los Angeles County were still without power Saturday morning, officials said, adding that repair crews were working overtime to restore all power.
In the city of Los Angeles, 1,586 Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers were still without 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.
Southern California Edison reported that 821 of its customers across L.A. County still had no service as of 9 a.m. The largest number of Edison outages were 93 in South Gate, 89 in Whittier and 63 in Santa Monica, according to their published figures.
``What we're doing now is that we're at a stage where we are mobilizing additional repairing crews to areas that are hardest hit and prioritizing restoration to customers with extended service service interruption, said David Song of Southern California Edison. ``We're obviously making every effort to address every outage.''
For local ski areas suffering through another dry winter, this storm has brought them good news.
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.
And the L.A. County Department of Public Works reported Saturday that it had captured 26 million gallons of storm water at Eaton Wash Dam for the local water supply -- good news for our drought-ravaged area.
Heavy showers and thunderstorms were possible throughout Los Angeles County and waterspouts were possible across coastal waters through tonight, according to the Weather Service.
Hail and early morning thunderstorms were reported in the Walnut area of the San Gabriel Valley early Saturday.
The NWS also issued a high surf advisory for the Los Angeles County coast scheduled to run through 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 for 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.
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.
Posted by Amy King