John Cádiz Klemack
People in Glendora struggled to keep water out of their homes as a big storm hit. John Cádiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at Noon on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014.
Mud and debris flows blocked intersections and forced road closures in parts of a Southern California foothill neighborhood under a mandatory evacuation as a strong winter storm slammed the region.
Officers in the San Gabriel Valley foothill community of Glendora reported mudflow at North Ben Lomond Avenue and Hicrest Croad, just below a fire-scarred hillside that burned in January's Colby fire. Mud flowed down a couple hundred yards from Yucca Ridge down to Hicrest, a city engineer said.
Nearly two inches of rain fell in the area over a 24 hour period that ended Friday at mid-day.
The threat of mudslides from rain-saturated hillsides that burned during the Colby fire prompted officials in Glendora and Azusa to declare mandatory evacuations. But not everybody elected to leave the area early Friday.
"Once that mud starts flowing, it can be too late to get out," said Glendora Police Chief Tim Staab. "There is nothing you can do once that mud starts flowing."
A resident living on Ridgeview Drive watched was still at his home on Friday morning as mud began flowing on his property.
"We're ready to leave," he said. "All of the mountain problem and the mud is coming down on this street here."
Another resident, Eric Hirst, watched the mudflow near his home.
“The more mud I see, the more worried I’m going to be,” Hirst said.
Significant flooding was closing eastbound traffic on Sierra Madre Avenue near the mudflow between McNeil Drive and Barranca Avenue, according to the Azusa Police Department. Mudflow onto residential properties also was reported in Azusa.
A tractor could be seen on the affected street scooping up water and mud from the flooding.
Flash flood warnings were in effect Friday as weather officials braced for periods of heavy rains and possible thunderstorms through Saturday night.
Mail delivery was suspended in the evacuated area, but residents are able to pick up mail at Glendora and Azusa Post Offices during normal business hours with valid photo identification.