LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A strong storm system has hit much of the Southland and was expected to drench the region with rain throughout the day Tuesday, raising the risk of flooding and debris flows in recent wildfire burn areas.
Coastal areas and the valleys could get up to 3 inches of rain, while mountains and foothills could see up to 5 inches.
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A flash flood watch is in effect through 6 p.m. Tuesday in recent Los Angeles County burn areas, including the Bobcat, Ranch 2, Dam, Lake and Palisades fires. Forecasters warned that those areas could see intense downpours with an inch or more of rain per hour.
“Residents near these burn scars should prepare for potential flash flooding and debris flow impacts,” according to the National Weather Service.
The heaviest rain will fall over Los Angeles County between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday, forecasters said.
“Due to the threat of heavy rain bands and a slight chance of thunderstorms capable of producing high intensity short duration rainfall, there will be the potential for debris flows over recent burn areas as well as significant roadway flooding,” according to the NWS.
Evacuation orders and warnings were issued across the region. Santa Barbara County issued an evacuation order for the area impacted by the recent Alisal Fire, which broke out in October and destroyed several homes. In San Bernardino County, an evacuation order was issued for the area hit by the El Dorado Fire, which broke out in September of 2020.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department issued a voluntary evacuation warning for residents in the Bond Fire burn area, including Modjeska, Silverado and Williams canyons.
Another area of concern is the Bobcat Fire burn scar in Monrovia. The Bobcat Fire — which started in September of 2020 and took two months to fully contain — burned nearly 116,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest and destroyed 87 homes in the Antelope Valley foothills.
The storm will also bring strong winds to the area, likely sweeping over and down the San Gabriel range and bringing warning-level gusts to the Antelope Valley late Tuesday evening. Wind gusts of up to 65 miles per hour are possible.
About 1 to 3 feet of snow will fall on mountains above 7,000 feet, but there could be some snow accumulation in the Grapevine area.
The Los Angeles Fire Department and county Office of Emergency Management issued a series of reminders related to the potential for mud and debris flow. Among them were:
- Acquire any needed sandbags and instructional materials at your local Los Angeles County fire station.
Have an emergency plan in place.
- Monitor radio and TV news closely for information about weather conditions and flooding in your area.
- If your neighborhood is evacuated, identify important items to take (e.g., computers, photos, important documents, medications, and other essential items for your family and pets).
- Have enough food and water to supply your family for at least a 72- hour period.
- Remember to include a radio and flashlight with fresh batteries in your emergency kit.
- Stay away from flood control channels, catch basins, canyons, and natural waterways that are vulnerable to flooding during periods of heavy rain.
- Do not attempt to cross flooded areas and never enter moving water on foot or in a vehicle.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)