As layers of mud and debris from the last storm to hit Southern California were being cleared from a Glendora basin Monday, the city’s residents were being warned that rain expected to descend on the region overnight could trigger light mudflows in the Colby Fire burn area.
Rain-related parking restrictions were in place and residents were urged to remove obstructions from roads, including their trashcans, after city officials raised the flooding alert level Sunday. No evacuations were in place, nor were there restrictions on entry to the potentially impacted areas, officials said.
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The Colby Fire burn area includes land north of Sierra Madre Avenue between Yucca Ridge Road to the west and Little Dalton Wash to the east, officials said.
The Glendora Police Department planned to increase patrols in the at-risk area ahead of the storm, which was expected to bring up to an inch of rain to some areas through Wednesday.
“Once that rain hit the first time, I didn't sleep at all,” said Glendora resident Kathy Pabon. "I was just waiting for this hill to come tumbling down and I hope that never happens. It's very scary."
Pabon's home is up against the hillside which burned during January's Colby Fire, which scorched more than 1,700 acres in Glendora and Azusa.
“The whole hillside around us was on fire,” Pabon said. “We left with five cars and a boat filled with things and we knew we would never see our home again, but as you see, it's still here."
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The barren hillsides are now prime for mudflows when it rains, which is why the Pabon family not only built a small retaining wall along their backyard, but also covered the bare hillside with netting, hoping to prevent erosion.
"I'm hoping we don't have a whole lot of rain in a short amount of time,” Pabon said.
So does Glendora resident Sherry Benshoof, who ignored evacuation orders the last time it rained, but is reconsidering in light of the fatal mudslide in Washington.
“It gives you pause and makes you think, because we elected to not evacuate ... whenever they wanted us to leave,” Benshoof said. “I just couldn't imagine anything like that happening."
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Crews with the Los Angeles County Department of Public were working to ensure that any mud that does flow down ends up in catch basins and not in nearby neighborhoods.
One basin was filled with 12 feet of mud after the last storm in late February and early March, which triggered evacuations for some residents.
Crews were working to clear the basin Monday, and said it would take another day to completely remove all the debris.
Glendora residents can get information on where to get sandbags on the city’s website, here.