No Calm Before This Storm

Residents fill and stack sand bags before the arrival of an autumn storm.

20 photos
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Steve Brown brings home sand bags to prepare his house in advance of the first rain storm since before the massive Station fire began for the possible major mudslides below the rugged San Gabriel Mountains, scorched and denuded by the 250-square-mile blaze, on October 9, 2009 in La Canada Flintridge.
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Concrete K-rails are pre-positioned by county workers to divert mud flows around homes. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) released a much-anticipated report that estimates the likelihood of debris flows in 678 drainage basins in the area burned by the wildfire and includes maps of potential paths of destruction.
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Maria Morrissette
Workers deliver railroad ties to be used in the construction of walls to protect Steve Brown's house.
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Leo Gutierrez erects a fence to help divert debris flows around a house.
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The USGS report concludes that there is an 80 percent likelihood of flows with very little rain because of the lack of vegetation to hold the hills in place.
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Joan Marcus
Twelve hours of gentle sustained rain could cause mud and debris flows containing up to 100,000 cubic yards of debris, enough to cover a football field under about 60 feet of mud, and dangerous debris flows could reach miles into the cities.
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Workers build debris barriers to prepare a home in advance of the first rain storm since before the massive Station fire.
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Concrete K-rails are pre-positioned by county workers to divert mud flows around homes.
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Francisco Gutierrez (L) and Leo Gutierrez erect a fence to help divert debris flows around a house.
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EFE
Ironically, California is in need of rain because of prolonged drought conditions that have led to mandatory water rationing in cities, fallowed waterless farms and skyrocketing unemployment among farm workers.
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The arson-sparked Station fire began on Aug. 26 and firefighters, unable contain more than 98 percent of it because of remote terrain, expect parts of it to burn until cooled by winter rain or snow.
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It is the largest in Los Angeles County history and the tenth largest ever fought in California.
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Residents fill sand bags.
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Drew Smith
A house stands near burned hillsides.
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NBC 7 San Diego
Most of the rain is expected to fall Tuesday night.
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Contra Costa County Fire Protection District via Twitter
Steve Brown discusses his construction of walls to protect his house.
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County workers add sand bags to concrete K-rails to divert mud flows around homes.
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NBC 7
"There's really nothing else to do but wait and see what happens," said David Wacker, a 25-year resident of La Crescenta.
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n LA County, rain estimates for the mountains and foothills ranged from 1.5 inches to 4 inches.
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Powerful winds on the coast between Point Reyes and Big Sur, and several feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada, meteorologists said.
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